Research

Effects of complementary therapies on cancer prevention

Research studies are assessing the efficacy of vitamins and naturally-occurring phytohormones on cancer incidence or recurrence in patients at high risk for cancer, such as individuals with a history of breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast or gene mutations.

Effects of complementary therapies on pain, quality of life and palliative care in cancer patients

Research efforts are also devoted to use of mind-body, alternative medical systems, such as traditional Chinese medicine, manipulative and body-based systems for control of debilitating symptoms during or after cancer treatment and for palliative care in patients who have failed conventional therapy; reduction of symptoms that impact the lives of children with cancer; assessment of cognitive deficits associated with adjuvant cancer therapy and investigation of therapies to manage these problems.

Pilot Study: “Improving the Academic Experience in Fifth Graders through Recreational

The UCLA Pediatric Pain Program is collaborating with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and Remo, Inc. on a pilot study of a cost-effective drumming program for fifth graders aimed at improving the school experience. School experience will be measured by such constructs as peer relations, aggressive behavior, attention skills, emotional well-being, connection to school, and academic performance. The study will also investigate the utility of the program in classroom management. A counselor within the school district will serve as the drumming facilitator, in order to demonstrate real-world feasibility and sustainability. The drumming program, which serves as a non-threatening metaphor for life, offers a therapeutic dimension involving guided interaction and reflection. To maximize the program’s impact, the curriculum will be co-designed by a professional drum facilitator and the school counselor.

Pain Research Network

The goal of these collaborations is to take advantage of existing expertise in the areas of cell and molecular biology related to pain transmission and modulation, somatic and visceral pain models, psychophysiology of visceral and somatic pain and neuroimaging of pain. A particular emphasis is on characterization of stress-induced pain modulation and in sex-based differences in pain mechanisms.

Psychophysiological and Sleep assessment

Psychophysiological assessment includes assessment of impedance cardiography via the COP-WIN system and electrocardiography and heart rate variability using the BIOPAC system within the context of resting and reactivty assessment. The laboratory allows for integration of inflammatory assessment with electrophysiological assessment of cardiovascular and autonomic funtion.

Neuroimaging Research Network

The goal of these interactions is to take advantage of existing imaging infrastructure and expertise located throughout the UCLA campus and affiliated institutions in terms of high resolution imaging devices (fMRI, PET, EEG) for use in humans and animal models, radioligand development and expertise, and data acquisition and analysis. A particular emphasis is on the characterization of central circuitries and transmitter systems involved in the mediation of pain, stress activation and sex-based differences in these functions.

Neuroimmune Research Network

The long-term goal of these interactions is to take advantage of existing expertise in area of how the immune system and the nervous system interact, and how mental processes and stressors can modulate immune function. A particular emphasis is on the application of such expertise to the gut associated immune system.