Pioneering Neuroscientist: the Role of Research in Broadening the Armamentarium

The Pain Research Forum recently published an interview with M. Catherine Bushnell, PhD, scientific director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Bushnell is a pioneer in neurophysiology, and the study of the brain’s role in perceiving, modifying, and managing pain. In this interview she discusses some of her current work in both animal and human studies to enhance our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of pain.

Dr. Bushnell observes that, although clinicians have begun to accept the validity of nonpharmacological interventions for pain, including exercise, reducing anxiety, and changing one’s emotional state and attentional focus, the path to mainstream acceptance could be facilitated by a better understanding of the neurophysiology of the pain experience. She also discusses some of the obstacles that current impede pain research, and present challenges to younger neuroscience PhD’s with an interest in the field.

Read a transcript of the interview with Dr. Bushnell here.

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