Researchers create blood test to determine patients' pain severity

Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis developed a blood test that can determine a patient's severity of pain and help change how physicians prescribe addictive drugs, Fox59 reported.

Findings on the test were published in Molecular Psychiatry.

The current system for pain diagnosis and drug prescribing relies on physician evaluations or self-reporting from patients, and this test allows for more precise medicine to guide standards, said study author Alexander Niculescu, MD, PhD.

The test identifies molecules or biomarkers that track pain severity. The information gathered from the test can objectively tell a physician how much pain a patient is experiencing and the amount of medicine they need, cutting down on under- or over-prescribing, Dr. Niculescu said.

Additionally, the molecules identified in the test could help match patients with the drug best suited for them and predict when they may experience pain.

"We can deal with these issues just like you would deal with cardiological issues, or cancer. You would have tests for it, you would have precise medication, and you would have much better outcomes," Dr. Niculescu said.

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