Leaders: Serge Marchand and Louis Gendron, with Phillippe Sarret and  Nicolas Beaudet
Institution(s): Université de Sherbrooke and Centre de Recherche du CHUS
Other Member(s): Quebec Pain Research Network (QPRN), Pain Research Centers and Pain Clinics in Quebec and Canada

Why was the study done?
A considerable proportion of patients suffering with chronic pain are not efficiently relieved by their medication. Choosing the right medication for the right person remains a difficult challenge for clinicians, which could be resolved by the assessment of each patient’s pain profile. The objective of this study was to develop a simple procedure to assess individual pain profiles which could be used in a clinical setting. 

How was the study done?
We used a protocol developed in our laboratory (Toussignant-Laflamme and team, 2009) consisting of applying three consecutive harmless but painful stimulations (hot, cold, hot) to the forearm to measure endogenous mechanisms of pain modulation. Just before the experiment, we collected a series of psychological (e.g. level of anxiety, depressive symptoms) and physiological (e.g., blood molecules) measures with the objectives to link them together to estimate individual pain profiles. To date, 370 individuals (of different genders and age groups) took part in the project (targeted number of participants is 408). This study started in 2018 and we are confident to finish the recruitment by the end of 2020.

What were the study results?
This study is an opportunity to develop a new procedure to personalize pain medicine, that will help healthcare professionals provide the right and most efficient treatment for each patient. This study aims to provide a simple tool for clinicians, adapted to their daily practice, to measure endogenous mechanisms of pain control and offer an optimized medication care. 

Recent Updates:
Performed evaluation of the conditioned pain modulation in a cohort of 360 healthy participants.


For more information:

Last updated: May 2021

Selected Publications: