Hologram-like 3-D brain helps researchers decode migraine pain (w/ Video)

April 19, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Wielding a joystick and wearing special glasses, pain researcher Alexandre DaSilva rotates and slices apart a large, colorful, 3-D brain floating in space before him.

Despite the white lab coat, it appears DaSilva's playing the world's most advanced virtual video game. The University of Michigan dentistry professor is actually hoping to better understand how our brains make their own pain-killing chemicals during a .

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

The 3-D brain is a novel way to examine data from images taken during a patient's actual migraine attack, says DaSilva, who heads the Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort at the U-M School of Dentistry and the Molecular and Institute.

Different colors in the 3-D brain give clues about chemical processes happening during a patient's migraine attack using a , or positron emission tomography, a type of medical imaging.

"This high level of immersion (in 3-D) effectively places our investigators inside the actual patient's brain image," DaSilva said.

The 3-D research occurs in the U-M 3-D Lab, part of the U-M Library.

Explore further: Many migraine sufferers can predict their migraine attack

Related Stories

Many migraine sufferers can predict their migraine attack

June 1, 2011

As many as one-third of sufferers of migraine with aura experience forewarning symptoms even the day before an attack that might create an opportunity for intervention and prevention. Later during the actual migraine episode ...

Technology eases migraine pain in the deep brain

May 1, 2012

Migraine pain sits at the upper end of the typical pain scale – an angry-red section often labeled "severe." At this intensity, pain is debilitating. Yet many sufferers do not get relief from – or cannot tolerate ...

Recommended for you

An accessible approach to making a mini-brain

October 1, 2015

If you need a working miniature brain—say for drug testing, to test neural tissue transplants, or to experiment with how stem cells work—a new paper describes how to build one with what the Brown University authors say ...

Tension helps heart cells develop normally in the lab

October 1, 2015

The heart is never quite at rest, and it turns out that even in a lab heart cells need a little of that tension. Without something to pull against, heart cells grown from stem cells in a lab dish fail to develop normally.

Dormant viral genes may awaken to cause ALS

September 30, 2015

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health discovered that reactivation of ancient viral genes embedded in the human genome may cause the destruction of neurons in some forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.