Viewing pain

Does the topic heading sounds bizarre? Yes its a sort of. Interestingly we all feel pain but really can’t show it to anybody to make others believe especially if you work in defence or a private company it’s understandable how hell it is to convince the boss about your pain. Pain can be physical or emotional. Although many a times if you have an external visible sign along with the pain like a swelling, redness, cut on skin or bleeding it might be easy to convince others that you are in agony but when it comes to emotional pain even your sweetheart spouse might not perceive it, forget about convincing the rude boss.

Recently a breakthrough research found that our physical pain probably make it’s signature in our brain and that can be seen, yes through our naked eyes. At present the team was successful to detect only pain signatures in brain due to heat only. The participants in the study were given physical heat on skin to induce pain (since heat is also a type of pain stimuli) and their brain scans were taken and the pain signature in their brains were seen. The scan they used is called Functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI (fMRI). For now the work seems to be in its infancy since they have only been successful enough to detect heat pain signature only in future they might be able to detect pain of postoperative patients or in cases of fibromyalgia and various other type of chronic pains.

fMRI is a type of MRI scan which detect brain activity by monitoring change in brain blood flow.

So in future a day might come when your boss who don’t want to grant you a leave based on your health ground (suppose pain), you might show him your brain scan to evidence your pain (although the researchers aren’t willing it to be used for lie detection type purpose). Offices tomorrow might be fitted with such brain scanners like today fitted with printers, air coolers etc. Also parents may think of using it for their young school going kid who makes excuse of pain abdomen and want to skip classes.

Although for such use of common man fMRI are very expensive to use and it’s almost impossible to keep such a machine in home and problem is who will read those scans, not everyone is an expert in radiology. But this point don’t disappoint me, think of computers, giant computers used during second world war, then came the modern desktop-pc then more small version laptop and then net-book and then tablets and smartphones. Could have Adolf Hitler ever imagined that today a kid sitting thousand miles away from Germany can read about all his heinous biography by just a click in a search engine in those small hand-held smartphone devices. So tomorrow such pain detecting machines might not be far away from use of common man.

Finally such machines will definitely benefit to specific group of people who really are unfortunate and can’t communicate properly because of their sufferings like people in coma, unconsciousness or other vegetative stages of life. Since I believe humans are the god’s best and worst creation, misuse of such pain detecting device is also a possibility, think how abusers or torturers can use it, now they got a pain scale to scale their torturing activities.
May god give us a good mind to be humane besides being human.

Brain scanning technology is quickly approachi...
Brain scanning technology is quickly approaching levels of detail that will have serious implications (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may share your opinions below in the comments section. For all your health concerns please be guided by your healthcare provider. Please cross check information from other sources too. Reference: LINK

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