Childhood Pain Research Program
Persistent and recurrent pain disorders affect about 20-30% of children, with about 10% being severely disabled by their pain. Pain disrupts normal childhood development, impacts education, and affects the entire family. The Children’s Pain Research Program aims to understand the neurobiological, psychological, and social causes and contributors to children’s pain conditions and to develop novel treatments to enhance function and quality of life for these children and their families. The goal is to reduce the likelihood of childhood pain evolving into adult chronic pain. Genetics, psychophysiology, psychology, child development, and pediatrics are brought together to understand mechanisms of pain in children, as well as the roles of gender, age, puberty, and family in increasing or reducing risks for pain and disability. Psychological, psychosocial, and complementary therapies are studied to develop the most effective and economic treatments for children’s pain. The Children’s Research Program is funded by grants from the NIH National Institute of Dental and Cranial Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institute of Mental Health, and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, as well as the Mayday Fund, with a total operating budget of close to $3 million. In addition to the research arm of the Children’s Pain Program, several faculty members see children and adolescents in our pediatric pain clinic with a wide range of persistent pain problems, and work as an integrative team with a dedicated group of CAM clinician, and physical and psychological therapists.
Mission: To advance the science, practice and teaching of mind brain somatic and visceral interactions and children’s health through interdisciplinary translational approaches, with the ultimate goal of improving the treatment of children with chronic and recurrent pain disorders.
Disease areas: Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other visceral pain disorders; Headaches, including migraines; Pain associated with musculoskeletal and widespread pain disorders including childhood arthritis, fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome (often called RSD), and neuromuscular pain disorders, as well as pain associated with a variety of childhood diseases.
Director: LK Zeltzer Co-Director: JCI Tsao
Key investigators: S Evans, LB Allen
UCLA Interactions: CURE, Departments of Psychology, Medicine, Pediatrics, OB-GYN, Psychiatry, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA School of Public Health, UCLA School of Nursing
Funding: NIDCR, NICHD, NIAMS, NIMH, NCCAM, NIDA, Mayday Fund