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To help doctors and patients, UB researchers are developing a 'vocabulary of pain'
Date:7/26/2011

including temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

Ceusters will work with his colleagues, including Richard Ohrbach, DDS, PhD, associate professor of oral diagnostic sciences in the UB School of Dental Medicine, to develop an ontology that allows the data to be described in a much more uniform way.

"The goal is to integrate the data together so that we have a large pool of data that will allow us to obtain better insight into the complexity of pain disorders, specifically the assessment of pain disorders and how they impact mental health and a patients' quality of life," Ceusters says.

The grant will build on past work that Ceusters conducted with a grant from the Oishei Foundation related to improving the classification, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric conditions.

Ceusters, who has degrees in knowledge engineering and information science as well as in neuropsychiatry, says that the current effort grew out of his work on that grant and also from a meeting with pain researchers that he attended in 2009.

"At that meeting, we discussed how we might build an ontology so that it could represent what pain is and how it relates to body parts and their activities and functions," he says. "Our goal is to create a software program that will allow all pain specialists to express themselves in crystal clear terms," he says, "We will create a symptom checklist that can be understood by computers. We have to define the terminology of pain. This can only be solved by the kind of ontology we are doing here at the University at Buffalo."


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Contact: Ellen Goldbaum
goldbaum@buffalo.edu
716-645-4605
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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