David C. Yeomans, PhD
Professor in the Department of Anesthesia at Stanford Medical School.
Director of Pain Research, Stanford
Director, Medical Neuroscientist Program at Stanford
Chronic and high frequency migraine patients suffer with 15 or more or 8-14 moderate to severe headache days/month respectively, and are highly debilitated by these conditions. Treatment choices for these conditions are currently inadequate. For this presentation, we will show that trigeminal neurons, which are critical components in mechanisms underlying these conditions, possess oxytocin receptors the expression of which is highly dependent on inflammatory state. Inflammation also enhances release of the pain neurotransmitter/neuromodulator calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) in vitro, from dural afferent nerve endings, which can be attenuated by exposure to oxytocin. In addition, nasally-applied application of radiolabelled oxytocin in rats concentrates in the trigeminal system, suggesting direct access to trigeminal receptors. Though this access, nasal application of oxytocin attenuates responses of brainstem neurons to painful stimulation and produces profound analgesia in craniofacial behavioral assays in rats. These findings have led to Phase II clinical trials of a formulation of nasal oxytocin in chronic and high frequency episodic migraine. The results of these studies demonstrate both a pain-reducing effect as well as a robust and sustained decrease in the frequency of migraine attacks and secondary migraines symptoms including nausea and vomiting, photophobia, and phonophobia.
David C. Yeomans, PhD
Students in this course will receive a firm grounding in the fundamentals of fMRI. This will include the basic physics of MR imaging, the biology and biophysics of the hemodynamic responses to neural activity, data analysis (including both exploratory and statistical analyses), stimulus presentation and response recording in the context of high magnetic fields and electromagnetic pulses, and the design of perceptual and cognitive experiments. Some advanced topics (especially related to issues of connectivity) have been added.
A special emphasis of the course will be the design, implementation, and execution of perceptual and/or cognitive experiments by the participants. Participants will break into small groups to design their own fMRI experiments. Barring unforeseen problems, some of these experiments will be executed, and the resulting data analyzed, on the final day of the course. The core faculty is drawn from the staff of the Athinoula A. Martinos Center (of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and affiliated faculty from Harvard University, Boston University, McLean Hospital and other institutions.
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