Chronic pain and depression are major clinical challenges accounting globally for four of the top seven causes of years-lived-with disability. Whilst chronic pain and depression commonly co-occur, there is limited study of common risk factors and underlying mechanisms: early life adversity (ELA) may increase the risk of both by a long term increase in the stress response, pro-inflammatory effects and brain structural and functional changes. To address this, we will use a large recently acquired dataset from the STRADL study on mood disorder which includes clinical assessments and neuroimaging data, and combine it with Generation Scotland chronic pain data and the Dundee Walker birth cohort.
Aims & Objectives:
- Use linked datasets to understand the effect of ELA on central neurobiology (structural and functional effects) in patients with and without chronic pain and/or depression
- Explore how vulnerability to developing chronic pain and depression is affected by ELA
- Study associations between ELA, analgesic use, chronic pain and depression
- Train the student in structural and functional image analysis and health data science
The deadline for application is 15 June 2020