The brain has a measurable response to ibuprofen, recent research has found, and the implications of this discovery and the means with which it was made could be important for future research in analgesia and anesthesia.
Dr. Hodkinson studied neuroimaging at King’s College and wanted to apply advanced imaging techniques to real-life clinical questions. He has published research on the reliability of using ASL imaging to map pain response, and wanted to measure the subjective pain experience at the same time. Because most pain studies focus on pain in response to electrical or heat stimulation, which is less clinically relevant, Dr. Hodkinson looked for a clinically relevant model, such as third molar extraction, to assess analgesic drugs. As an anti-inflammatory drug, ibuprofen works on a slower timescale, and ASL best measures slower changes in pain rather than quick changes measured in conventional trial designs.