We conduct clinical trials in infants and use neuroimaging techniques to evaluate interventions.
Analgesics are frequently not provided for infants undergoing painful medically-required procedures due to the difficulty in assessing whether they are effective, and concerns around side effects. Early life pain is associated with both short and long-term effects, including associations with lower cognitive ability. It is essential that we find better ways to treat pain to mitigate the short and long-term effects. We use a variety of different approaches (such as examining brain activity responses, behavioural changes, and physiological responses) to gain a full understanding of how analgesics affect infant responses to painful procedures and to establish the safety of the drugs.
Projects in this theme include assessing the efficacy of analgesics and non-pharmacological interventions, such as parental touch. We are also conducting a trial that investigates brain structure and function in infants.