Main content

Seeing Pain

Why do some people feel more pain than others and what happens in the brain during surgery? Irene Tracey asks if we can see pain generated in the brain using high tech scanners.

Mystery still surrounds the experience of pain. It is highly subjective but why do some people feel more pain than others and why does the brain appear to switch off under anaesthesia so we are unaware of the surgeon’s scalpel? Professor Irene Tracey uses brain scanners to ask if we can actually see pain in the brain. On air we hear for the first time the results of the latest research into diabetes and nerve pain. Promising new techniques means scientists are able to see regions in the brain which effectively turn up the pain in some people and not others.

Anaesthetics prevent pain during surgery but how the brain disengages is only just beginning to be understood, which could in the future lead to personalised doses of anaesthetics leading to faster recovery times.

Picture: Graphic of neurons firing in the of the neural network within the Brain, Credit: Science Photo Library

Available now

27 minutes

Last on

Mon 29 Jan 2018 01:32GMT

More episodes

Previous

You are at the first episode

See all episodes from Discovery

Broadcasts

  • Mon 22 Jan 2018 20:32GMT
  • Mon 22 Jan 2018 21:32GMT
  • Tue 23 Jan 2018 05:32GMT
  • Tue 23 Jan 2018 07:32GMT
  • Tue 23 Jan 2018 15:32GMT
  • Tue 23 Jan 2018 18:32GMT
  • Wed 24 Jan 2018 03:32GMT
  • Sun 28 Jan 2018 02:32GMT
  • Mon 29 Jan 2018 01:32GMT

Space

Space

The eclipses, spacecraft and astronauts changing our view of the Universe

The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry

The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry

A pair of scientific sleuths answer your perplexing questions. Ask them anything!

Podcast