Student NameJessica Reade
Faculty Mentor NameYenisel Cruz-Almeida
CollegeCollege of Medicine
MajorHealth Science
Research InterestsAge-Related Pain Perception and Modulation, Geriatric Medicine
Academic AwardsUF PHHP Upper Division Honors Program
OrganizationsUF Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honor Society Historian, Student Advisory Council of Undergraduate Affairs PHHP Representative, PHHP LEAP Mentorship Program Mentor
Hobbies and InterestsVisiting with Patients in Hospice Care, Photography, Reading, Painting

Research Project

Cortical Thickness and Volume Affect on Pain Tolerance in Older Adults

Even though chronic pain affects individuals of all races, ages and genders, members of certain population groups are disproportionately affected, with chronic pain particularly seen as being more prevalent and disabling in older adults. Brain alterations are potential contributors to increased pain in older individuals. Conditioned pain modulation (CPM) is a behavioral paradigm reflective of pain inhibition that is predictive of chronic pain susceptibility in younger cohorts and worse CPM (i.e., less pain inhibition) has been documented in older individuals. This research seeks to understand the associations between brain volume and cortical thickness, and CPM in older adults. Understanding this relationship will help understand the neurobiological mechanisms underlying deficient pain modulation in aging, and pave the way to identify therapeutic targets to reduce chronic pain in the elderly population.