"Exploring the factors associated with brain structural changes in women with endometriosis-associated pain”. Miriam Szabó, Undergraduate visiting student (guest of Dr. Katy Vincent, Nuffield Department of Women's & Reproductive Health)

Chronic pain is known to be associated with a variety of central nervous system changes including alterations in brain structure and function. Previous studies have demonstrated that structural brain changes in women with endometriosis are similar to those of other chronic pain conditions (As-Sanie et al., Pain 2012;153(5):1006-14). However, factors causing these changes are still unknown. Possibilities include pain severity, duration, associated psychological distress or endocrine changes. This project aims to explore these factors in detail.

A complete data-set of 3T structural MRI brain scans, psychological and pain questionnaires were obtained from women with endometriosis-associated pain and age and hormonal status matched healthy pain-free controls. Neuroimaging tools from FSL will be used to compare these groups.