OXFORD, UNITED KINGDOM (CBS) – A study done by a group of researchers from Oxford University yielded some surprising results regarding babies and how they feel pain.
Researchers say the study suggests that babies feel pain pretty much the same as adults, but are not always given the same pain reducing medications.
Ten infants, between one and six days old, and ten healthy adults participated in the study.
Researchers placed the babies in an MRI scanner and scans were taken of the babies’ brains as researchers stimulated the their feet by poking them with a pinprick stimulator.
Researchers performed the same method on the ten adults, but they were asked to verbally report their pain intensify.
The study found that 18 of the 20 brain regions active in adults feeling pain were also active in the babies’ brains. Furthermore, since the babies were unable to verbally express their pain, researchers say “reflex leg withdrawal” from the stimuli was observed during during the study.
The babies’ parents were present during the study.
According to researchers, this suggests that not only do babies feel pain like adults, but they also have a lower pain threshold.
Researchers say this study “emphasizes the importance of effective clinical pain management” when it comes to treating infants.
Previous research found “In 2014 a review of neonatal pain management practice in intensive care highlighted that although such infants experience an average of 11 painful procedures per day 60 percent of babies do not receive any kind of pain medication.”