brain and pain proyecto

BaP was born with the aim of improving the quality of life of patients suffering from chronic pain.

The failure of pharmacological and surgical interventions to control pain is evident in patients with drug-resistant and refractory pain. This indicates the need for a paradigm shift in pain management, from a diagnostic-based strategy to one based on the knowledge of the mechanisms that explain why pain becomes chronic.

BaP proposes a comprehensive evaluation of the central nervous system responses and brain plasticity mechanisms that explain the chronic pain, with the aim of identifying biomarkers and develop more individualized and specialized intervention strategies adapted to patient profiles.

In addition, we are interested in testing alternative treatments for pain control, based primarily on neuromodulation techniques. They are innovative, cost-effective, and easily integrated into health care services, and can be applied both in health centers and in the patient’s own home.

Brain and Pain Proyects

Our research strategy is to conduct multicenter studies using the same evaluation and treatment protocol to obtain comparable results and solid evidence.


Epigenetics, Brain and Pain

In this project we attempt to understand the causative mechanisms of fibromyalgia (FM), a complex, unknown and prevalent chronic pain disorder, considering the interplay of environmental influences, central pain mechanisms, and genetic/epigenetic factors (read more).

Palliative BaP

Palliative care, Brain and Pain

Pain management should be a central element of palliative care, even in the case of non-life-threatening illnesses. In this project we intend to:

  • Develop a protocol for the assessment of pain and other associated symptoms for patients with refractory pain and palliative care needs.
  • Identify biomarkers of the central mechanisms of pain modulation.
  • Evaluate the feasibility, safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a home-based treatment with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for these patients.

Our final objective is to propose a palliative care service delivery model aimed at improving pain management.


Genetics BaP

Genetics, Brain and Pain

In this project, we aimed to identify genetic biomarkers of fibromyalgia (FM), mostly in the GABAergic and glutamatergic neurotransmision pathways, using a Discordant Sib Pair (DSP) approach, a particular design of the Family Based Association Tests (FBAT). We recruited 543 FM patients and their corresponding siblings and/or other members of the nuclear family. Appart from the blood extractions, a complete assessment (including ACR 2010 criteria, clinical history interview, scales to evaluate the core symptoms of FM) was performed for both patients and relatives. The data are currently being analyzed.


Non-invasive brain stimulation as a treatment for fibromyalgia.

Although several studies have supported the efficacy of transcraneal direct current stimulation (tDCS) for pain relief in fibromyalgia patients, recent review studies conclude that the effects reported are low or non-significant. The main limitations of the field are:

  • Lack of controlled studies, with sham conditions and long-term follow-ups, and with an adequate selection and assessment of the main usymptoms of fibromyalgia in the pre-and post-treatment.
  • The use of unspecific brain targets (i.e. primary motor cortex, M1, or dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, DLPFC), with no previous attempt to apply tDCS in regions specifically involved in pain, as the operculo insular cortex (OIC).

The main objective of this project is to test the efficacy of tDCS on the cognitive functioning and the core symptoms of fibromyalgia, comparing three cortical targets (M1,DLPFC, and  OIC) and a sham stimulation group. Also, we will analyze the long-term tDCS effects, with follow-ups after 6 and 12 months.

Our goal is to improve the quality of life of patients


What´s new in our blog

Read the latest news related to BaP

Fibromyalgia, genetics and epigenetics

  Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic debilitating condition leading you to feel pain and tenderness throughout your body. In addition to chronic widespread pain, you may have depression, chronic fatigue, sleep dysfunction, irritable bowel syndrome, temporomandibular disorder or chronic headache. Current treatments can help people control pain, but a complete recovery is rare, especially because…


Research in fibromyalgia

  What are the current challenges in fibromyalgia research? Fibromyalgia (FM) is a prevalent, complex and unknown disease, whose diagnosis and treatment continue to be a challenge for the health professionals, while it imposes a large economic burden on public and private healthcare systems. Experts on FM expresses similar concerns regarding its management. The challenges…


Pain and palliative care

What is palliative care?   According to the WHO, “palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical,…