Mental health


At a glance

Pain perception in looked after young people with self-harm

Lead researcher

Dr Dennis Ougrin


King's College London



Amount awarded


Last updated



A Medical Research Foundation-MRC funded study to investigate the link between pain and self-harm, and whether people at risk of self-harm have a different level of pain sensitivity.

Dr Ougrin will look at whether a system in the brain that is known to be involved in pain is associated with self-harm. Knowledge of pain sensitivity could improve understanding of self-harm and lead to future prevention and treatment studies.

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Mental Health – Self-Harm

  • Why there is a need to fund new research

    Rates of self-harm have increased in the UK over the past decade and are among the highest in Europe. Rates are much higher among groups with high levels of poverty and in adolescents and younger adults. Repeated self-harm results in about 150,000 attendances at accident and emergency departments each year and is one of the top five causes of acute medical admission. Current understanding of these illnesses is limited, we think it is invaluable to understand why these illnesses occur in the first place, in order that approaches for prevention or early intervention can be developed and jointly with the Medical Research Council we have funded research to develop this understanding. 

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