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Abstract #1236

Deciphering the Pain-Matrix with Ultrahigh functional MRI: En Route to Objective Biomarkers for Pain

Gijs Jurjen Heij1, Thoralf Niendorf1,2, and Henning Matthias Reimann1
1Berlin Ultrahigh Field Facility (B.U.F.F.), Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany, 2Experimental and Clinical Research Center, a joint cooperation between the Charité Medical Faculty and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Berlin, Germany

Despite millions of people suffering from chronic pain, clinicians still rely on self-reports for the assessment of pain. In attempts to identify objective biomarkers, fMRI studies have revealed an assembly of regions that consistently activates in response to noxious stimuli, but also to non-noxious equally salient stimuli. Since most studies have been performed at 3T or lower, higher field strengths might be able to differentiate pain from saliency. As a first step, we aimed to identify the pain-matrix at ultrahigh fields using an ON/OFF heat stimulation paradigm and show here that the regions associated with the pain-matrix could be identified.

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