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Abstract #4469

fMRI in Patients with Lumbar Disc Disease: A Paradigm to Study Patients Over Time

Harish A. Sharma1, Raj Gupta2, William Olivero3

1Beckman Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, United States; 2University of Illinois College of Medicine; 3Neurosurgery, Carle Foundation Hospital

Using fMRI to study pain has revealed new information about how the brain responds to painful stimuli and what regions of the brain are activated during pain. Unfortunately, many of the paradigms that are used in fMRI studies either fail to replicate the subjects pain or painful stimuli is used in volunteers without pain. Moreover, longitudinal fMRI studies that follow patients who develop chronic pain from the acute phase of pain have not been performed.We developed an fMRI paradigm that reliably mimics a clinical pain syndrome in patients who have low back pain and leg pain from acute lumbar radiculopathy and lumbar degenerative disc disease.