Previous research has concentrated on the development of new techniques to identify the network of brain structures in the human brain that is involved in nociceptive processing and some of the endogenous pharmacological processes that may modify this. We were the first group to achieve these two goals. The main applications have been in musculoskeletal and post-stroke pain. Candidate mechanisms for fibromyalgia and post-stoke pain have been identified by recent PET studies; funded by our Arthritis Research Campaign program grant and previous MRC grants.
Future research will be focused on establishing a causal relationship between some of these candidate mechanisms and different types of chronic musculoskeletal pain. Having identified these, our long-term goal is to identify new therapeutic targets for modifying such abnormal brain mechanisms.