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How AI is Helping Scientists Understand Chronic Pain

Release Date: July 9, 2024 |  Run Time: 39:28 |  Download Episode 9 transcript

At UHN's Krembil Brain Institute, we have cared for many patients living with an extreme facial pain disorder called trigeminal neuralgia, and it is heartbreaking.

Patients often describe the pain as a lightning bolt to the face or an electric shock. Some talk about the impact the disease has had on their family & relationships, including not being able to hug their loved ones or kiss their children goodnight. One man told the story of a single snowflake landing on his cheek, triggering a wave of pain so severe, that it rendered him helpless on a sidewalk.

For many patients, surgery and medications can bring welcome relief. In today's episode, we discuss how artificial intelligence is helping researchers better understand where pain emanates from and travels within the brain, looking for patterns and clues to help patients living with trigeminal neuralgia and other chronic pain disorders, benefit from more targeted treatments.

Listen to the full episode and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and everywhere else you get your podcasts.

Bonus Content: Listen to an extended version of Adriana Salazar's story, and hear why she is so grateful to Dr. Hodaie and her team for this 'second chance' at life.

Adriana Salazar | Run Time: 16:05 |  Download bonus content transcript


Dr. Mojgan Hodaie  
Dr. Mojgan Hodaie

Dr. Mojgan Hodaie is a neurosurgeon and senior scientist with UHN's Krembil Brain Institute and the Greg Wilkins-Barrick Chair in International Surgery at UHN. She is a Professor and the Postgraduate Medical Education Director for the Department of Surgery, at the University of Toronto's Temerty Faculty of Medicine. Her surgical practice and research laboratory are dedicated to unraveling the underpinnings of the severe pain condition of trigeminal neuralgia using advanced brain imaging technology. Her interest and dedication to education spans local, national and international activities.

Adriana Salazar  
Adriana Salazar

Adriana Salazar graduated from The University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies (BMOS) and has worked in the Finance Department at a law firm for the past 9 years. She is happily married and has a lovely daughter who just finished her first year of school. In her off time, she enjoys traveling back home to Colombia to see her family, painting in watercolours and reading James Patterson novels in her hammock.

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