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To better identify chronic pain

Completely new research carried out at the Clinique romande de réadaptation (CRR) could contribute to a better characterization of chronic pain and thus provide tools to treat it better.

Identify pain better in order to treat it better


Millions of people throughout the world suffer from chronic pain. in addition to affecting quality of life, it is associated with poorer health and higher risks of mortality. Their multifactorial origins and subjective nature make their processing complex. It is with the aim of improving these treatments that Doctor Bertrand Léger and his staff at the CRR, via his rehabilitation research institute (IRR), carry out this researche, in collaboration with the EPFL and Geneva University with the funding from the Loterie romande and the Valais authorities through its education department and its polytechnic colleges.

MicroARNs are small molecules, discovered in the early 2000s, whose role is to modify the fundction of a gene. Certain microARNs are markers present in the bloodstream that can be used to characterize diseases. For the study, recently published in the American scientific journal PLOS one, mre that a hundred patients suffering from different types of chronic pain were recruited. Indeed when the pain is due to nerve damage, it is called neuropathic pain, whereas when it is associated with persistent and excessive stimulation of periphal receptors, it is called nociceptive (arthrosis, inflammatory diseases). The results show that, depending on the type of pain (neuropathic or  nociceptive) the amount of certain microARNs present in the bloodstream varies.

These encouraging results demonstrate the potential of these microARNs as a diagnostic tool for chronic pain. This discovery will eventually improve the quality and specificity of treatments. Future studies will attempt to determine whether these molecles play a direct role in the chronicization of pain.

This research also at the service of rehabilitaition


In the field of rehabilitation, the biosychosocial complexity (BPS) model allows a comprehensive approach to the patient's situation, taking into account the combination of biological, psychological, behavioural and social factors that influence the patient's future. while much has been said about psycho-social aspects in recent years, the biological domainhas regained importance following new scientific advances. Through this global approach, the CRR's research department is a major player in the evolution and improvement of care in the field of rehabilitation.

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