|Kristzina Konczos on Flickr|
“Our study shows that a mother comforting her infant in pain does not just elicit a behavioral response, but also the comforting itself modifies – for better or worse – critical neural circuitry during early brain development,” says Regina Sullivan, PhD, the senior investigator of this study.
Sullivan presented her findings at the American Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington D.C. on Nov. 18. These finding are significant as they explore alternative methods for pain relief in infants. New pain relief methods are needed as traditional opiate-based pain relievers are harmful to infants.
“Nobody wants to see an infant suffer...,” says Sullivan. “But if opiate drugs are too dangerous to use in human infants because of their addictive properties, then the challenge remains for researchers to find alternative environmental stimuli, including maternal presence, coddling, or other cues, such as a mother’s scent, that could relieve the pain.”
©Mary M Conneely T/A Advocacy in Action