Breakthrough painHS Blood Test set to Help Doctors Diagnose Chronic Pain

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Australian researchers have claimed that they have found a new and very unique test. It can now detect and treat chronic pain in a new way. This test is known as painHS. According to the researchers this test can detect the color changes in cells of immune system that are influenced by pain.

This test can immediately tell the doctors about their patient’s health status and pain severity. Professor Mark Hutchinson, director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics at the University of Adelaide and the lead researcher and developer of the test proudly said that they have step forward in the new world of pain management and diagnosis. He claimed that the test they have identified is a tool that is not only 100 per authentic but it also gives a high level of certainty of diagnosis of pain and also guide about next level drug treatment options.

Hutchinson’s team has found that the sufferers of chronic pain have very visible changes in the cells of their immune system. Hyperspectral imaging analysis and light measurement tools are used by painHS to detect these visible changes or pain biomarkers, by reading the change in the color of these cells.

Professor Hutchinson explained to The Mighty that 100s and 1000s of these colors are captured by us in order to make a complicated array of colors. Biology has its own natural colors and spectral information when different light is shone onto it. Researchers said that they think doctors will able to understand a person’s pain tolerance and sensitivity by detecting different colors of person’s immune cells. Hutchinson said they are trying their best to quantify the colors of pain.

They found that the pain that was persistent has a different natural color in the immune cells, than the pain that was not persistent in character. This blood test is not the only sole blood test to identify and detect pain. Some other like painSEQ and painCELL were also developed by Hutchinson team. But the drawback of these tests is that they require several days to produce results.

PainHS is very unique because it gives immediate results. This instant result allows the doctor to plan a treatment regime quickly in the same appointment. It saves the time of the doctor and patient as well. Less money and energy is consumed.

Hutchinson told that we are hoping a time will come that it will become as simple as a finger prick test used to detect blood glucose levels, and the results will instantly recorded the device by detecting the color change. It will capture all the color information and will provide immediate results.

PainHS is not accessible to the doctors yet, the aim of the team is that this test should undergoes maximum clinical trials in 18 months, and the eventually it will available to every doctor around the globe. Right now patient’s pain is assessed by the doctor on a scale that is rated 1 to 10. They ask the patient about the severity of the pain and rate it on a scale out of 10.

Everyone feels pain differently with different severity so these results are very subjective. Hutchinson said the main role of this blood test will be in drug and treatment selection. He said that “I think our test will be used to say, you have one of these 20 types of pain conditions and these are the best ways forward for treatment”. Hutchinson warns that although this test will provide visible evidence of pain, but it should not be used to definitively determine whether or not a patient experiences chronic pain.

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Reference Reading:

  • New painHS Blood Test Can Help Physicians Identify the ‘Colors’ of Chronic Pain by Paige Wyant via The Mighty
  • Breakthrough blood test set to help doctors diagnose chronic pain via News.com.au

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