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What do we really know about newborn infant pain?

Fitzgerald, M; (2015) What do we really know about newborn infant pain? Experimental Physiology , 100 (12) pp. 1451-1457. 10.1113/EP085134. Green open access

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Abstract

Increased awareness of pain in the newborn has led to the development of numerous assessment tools for use in neonatal intensive care units. Here, I argue that we still know too little about the neurophysiological basis for infant pain to interpret data from clinical observational measures. With increased understanding of how the neural activity and CNS connections that underlie pain behaviour and perception develop in the newborn will come better measurement and treatment of their pain. This review focuses upon two interconnected nociceptive circuits, the spinal cord dorsal horn and the somatosensory cortex in the brain, to highlight what we know and what we do not know about infant pain. The effectiveness of oral sucrose, widely used in clinical practice to relieve infant pain, is discussed as a specific example of what we do not know. This ‘hot topic review’ highlights the importance of new laboratory-based neurophysiological research for the treatment of newborn infant pain.

Type: Article
Title: What do we really know about newborn infant pain?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1113/EP085134
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1113/EP085134
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Facial Coding System, Rat Dorsal-horn, Flexion Reflex, Somatosensory Cortex, Receptive-fields, Brain, Responses, Circuits, Humans, Age
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1482012
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