Brain changes related to chronic pain patients and to skill learning

Throughout my academic career I have aimed to understand how variability in cognitive skills such as language or learning, physical characteristics such as pain sensitivity and affective characteristics such as anxiety and emotion processing is represented in the brain.

For this I have used fMRI, EEG-fMRI, and TMS.

My future goal is to understand why and how the brain changes (neuroplasticity), both related to chronic pain patients and to skill learning.

I have started an independent research project on neuroplasticity, where I look at changes in intrinsic neural network connectivity following emotional interference. In the future, I aim to investigate neuroplasticity in people with chronic (widespread) pain including fibromyalgia.

Network connectivity in the brain of chronic pain patients is functionally changed related to their experience of chronic pain. I hypothesize that we can visualize how this change is also dependent on affective characteristics, and to neural, cognitive and behavioral response to acute pain.

The ultimate goal is to modulate neural network functional connectivity, as a precursor to neural-based treatment aimed to normalize network connectivity.

Publications

2017

Helene M van Ettinger-Veenstra, Carin Widen, Maria Engström, Thomas Karlsson, Ingemar Leijon, Nina Nelson Follin

Neuroimaging of decoding and language comprehension in young very low birth weight (VLBW) adolescents: Indications for compensatory mechanisms

In PLoS ONE

Article in journal

2014

Helene van Ettinger-Veenstra, Anita McAllister, Peter Lundberg, T Karlsson, Maria Engström

Neural Adaptability During Sentence Reading: Higher Language Ability but nor Semantic Sentence Complexity Increases Neural Activity, SNL (Soc Neurobiol Language).

Conference paper

2013

Helene van Ettinger-Veenstra

Mind your Language, All Right? Performance-dependent neural patterns of language

Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary

CV - Assignment - Network

Assignment

  • Small-group tutor for students of Medical Faculty 

 

Network

  • Emotion in touch and pain - GRASP lab
  • Center for Systems Neurobiology, CSAN
  • Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization, CMIV

Related content