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An attempt to assess animal pain using brain activity

By H. van Oostrom


Pain is an emotionally unpleasant sensory experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage. Due to its complexity it is difficult to objectively assess pain and absence thereof (i.e. analgesia). This is especially true in animals, since animals lack the ability to verbally report pain. This thesis describes several studies using a specific approach, the recording of somatosensory evoked potentials from vertex (Vx-SEPs), to study pain, pain perception and analgesia in animal models. This thesis shows that 1) Vx-SEPs are indicative of the unpleasantness of painful stimuli in animals, similar to the situation in man, 2) the Vx-SEP can be recorded in different animal species and 3) the Vx-SEP can be used as a tool to study the antinociceptive/analgesic effects of clinically used anaesthetic drugs

Publisher: Utrecht University
Year: 2008
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