An Electroencephalography Bioassay for Preclinical Testing of Analgesic Efficacy

Suguru Koyama, Brian W. LeBlanc, Kelsey A. Smith, Catherine Roach, Joshua Levitt, Muhammad M. Edhi, Mai Michishita, Takayuki Komatsu, Okishi Mashita, Aki Tanikawa, Satoru Yoshikawa & Carl Y. Saab

More than 15% of adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain1. Ineffective therapies and narrow therapeutic windows of available drugs2 are contributing to the opioid epidemic3. The scant success rate of drug development is partly attributed to poor translatability of analgesic efficacy in pre-clinical models, which is based predominantly on behavioral assays. Of these, the most commonly-used are withdrawal reflexes that are qualitative and suffer from a poor temporal resolution. Even when operant behaviors4 and other types are considered5,6, their relevance to brain states underlying nociception and pain assessment in the clinic is not direct nor at times evident7. Hence, there is an emerging interest in novel methods that measure stimulus-independent ‘spontaneous’ pain in an observer-independent manner, especially methods that could be applied to humans. One such approach with a promising translational potential is cortical theta power using quantitative electroencephalography (EEG)8.

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Joshua Levitt

Clinical Research Program Coordinator

Muhammad M Edhi

Clinical Research Coordinator