Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Premature babies probably feel and are aware of pain

08.12.2006
Although it is wellknown that premature babies react to pain, it has not been known to what extent they are aware of pain and uncomfortable procedures. Therefore premature infants have not always received sufficient analgesia.

Now, however, the grounds for this have been seriously undermined by a new doctoral thesis from Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Sweden. New measurement techniques show that even premature babies display all the signs of a conscious experience of pain.

For many years, doctors have assumed that foetuses, premature babies and fully developed new-born babies do not have the cerebral cortical functions required to feel pain. Babies’ reactions to potentially painful stimuli have been explained away as unconscious reflexes, and so doctors have felt it justified to withhold painkillers during surgery and the like so as to avoid adverse reactions.

The doctoral thesis by Italian-Swedish researcher Marco Bartocci now shows that the brains of premature babies are far more developed than previously thought. His studies using infrared spectroscopy, carried out at the Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, show that pain signals from a pin prick are processed in the cerebral cortex of premature babies in the same way as in adults. This means that all known pre-conditions for the conscience experience of pain are present, even though this still does not provide any conclusive evidence that they actually undergo a subjective painful experience.

The results of the processing of painful stimuli have been published in the scientific journal Pain and have been cited in a news article in Nature. They are expected to have a major impact on pain-relief management for new-born babies as well as on approaches to child development in general. Public defence of doctoral thesis will be held on December 8. Professor Michael Wweindling from the University of Liverpool, UK is the external examiner.

Thesis: Brain functional near infrared spectroscopy in human infants: cerebral cortical haemodynamics coupled to neuronal activation in response to sensory stimulation , Department of Women and Child Health, KI.

Katarina Sternudd | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ki.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>