9, 2019 -- Kenneth Weber II, DC, PhD, an instructor in the
Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Stanford
University, recently spoke as part of the Logan Department of Radiology’s
Chiropractic Grand Rounds.
Dr. Weber, who earned his clinical training as a
chiropractor at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida and then completed a PhD
in neuroscience at Northwestern University, currently researches different
neuroscience, machine-learning and clinical research techniques to better
understand, treat, and prevent musculoskeletal and neurological conditions,
including spinal pain.
On August 2, he addressed the topic of advancing
chiropractic with advanced magnetic resonance imaging to students, faculty and
staff, opening with a general description of the structural
and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology along
with their advantages and disadvantages. He described how fMRI provides non-invasive
mapping of the brain’s neuroanatomy and neurophysiology in the assessment of
patients with chronic pain. Maladaptive neural
circuity develops as an adaptive response to the persistent
nociception. This adaptation to central sensitization utilizes cortical
and subcortical neuroplasticity, and these patterns of brain neural activity
are mapped with fMRI technology. Dr. Weber discussed his research in
brain-based models of clinical pain states, and has incorporated an artificial
intelligence method known as machine learning to enhance models of bran
responses to pain.
He also explained his extensive research of spinal
manipulation in healthy and clinical pain disorders, including a new
development in his research: spinal cord fMRI. This technique, which Dr.
Kettner said has been long hampered by technical challenges, is advancing and
may provide a biomarker of spinal cord injury and disorders. In addition,
simultaneous fMRI of the spinal cord combined with functional imaging
of the brain is now on the horizon.
Dr. Kettner said this corticospinal mapping will provide
a perspective of large neural network integration, allowing more
precise understanding of chronic pain and other associated disorders, such as
anxiety and depression, and their treatment outcomes.
November 9, 2018 -- This
past summer, Logan welcomed Roberta Sclocco, PhD, to campus for a Chiropractic
Grand Rounds presentation. Dr. Sclocco is a research fellow at Athinoula A.
Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and
Harvard Medical School. Her presentation, titled “Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve
Stimulation Optimized Using Functional MRI” focused on the application and
integration of advanced imaging techniques and brainstem neural science. This
work is an ongoing line of research with which Norman Kettner, DC, DACBR, FICC
and Chair of Logan’s Department of Radiology is a collaborator.
introduction to Dr. Sclocco’s presentation, Dr. Kettner explained the
importance the vagus nerve plays in many major biological systems.
inflammatory reflex is a physiological mechanism through which the vagus nerve
regulates immune function, inhibits excessive proinflammatory cytokine
production and may provide a variety of biological, psychological and
behavioral health benefits addressing the elements of the biopsychosocial model,”
he said. “Vagus nerve signaling plays an important role in the regulation of
feeding behavior, gut regulation, immune network interaction, pain modulation
and metabolic homeostasis. Cholinergic signaling (inflammatory reflex) is known
to alleviate obesity-associated inflammation and metabolic derangement and
could be exploited for treatment of metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes mellitus
and other obesity-driven disorders. “
particular importance to the current opioid epidemic, vagus stimulation has
been shown to alter the pain memory process and free chronic pain patients from
conditioned pain responses.
Sclocco describes her research as a merging of the head and the heart and an
exploration of whether something useful can come out of integrating the two
modalities. This research has employed subcutaneous stimulation of the vagus
nerve (auricular branch) with 7 T fMRI to better understand the treatment and
its underlying neural mechanisms. Click here to watch the full presentation.
Roberta Sclocco PhD, Research Fellow, Athinoula A Martinos Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School provided a lecture titled Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation Optimized using functional MRI. Learn about non-invasive vagal stimulation and its clinical applications.