Janelle E Letzen

Janelle E Letzen
Johns Hopkins University | JHU · Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

About

44
Publications
3,029
Reads
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617
Citations
Citations since 2016
33 Research Items
586 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
Additional affiliations
August 2017 - present
Johns Hopkins University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2011 - July 2017
University of Florida
Position
  • PhD Student
June 2009 - June 2011
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (44)
Article
Unlabelled: Although functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been proposed as a method to elucidate pain-related biomarkers, little information exists related to psychometric properties of fMRI findings. This knowledge is essential for potential translation of this technology to clinical settings. The purpose of this study was to assess t...
Article
The default mode network (DMN) has been proposed as a biomarker for several chronic pain conditions. DMN functional connectivity (fcMRI) is typically examined during resting-state fMRI, in which participants are instructed to let thoughts wander. However, factors at the time of data collection (e.g., negative mood) that might systematically impact...
Article
Study Objectives Considerable evidence shows that individuals from marginalized racial/ethnic groups in the US experience greater rates of sleep disturbance and cardiovascular complications. Because sleep is a modifiable factor that is critically involved in cardiovascular health, improved understanding of the association between sleep and cardiova...
Article
Background Ethnic differences in placebo and nocebo responses are an important, yet underresearched, patient factor that might contribute to treatment disparities. Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine ethnic differences in pain trajectories following a verbal suggestion paired with a masked, inert substance (i.e., saline). Methods Usi...
Article
Full-text available
Racism is an established health determinant across the world. In this 3-part series, we argue that a disregard of how racism manifests in pain research practices perpetuates pain inequities and slows the progression of the field. Our goal in part-1 is to provide a historical and theoretical background of racism as a foundation for understanding how...
Article
Full-text available
This third paper in the “Confronting Racism in All Forms of Pain Research” series discusses adopting an antiracism framework across all pain research disciplines and highlights the significant benefits of doing so. We build upon the previous call to action and the proposed reframing of study designs articulated in the other papers in the series and...
Article
Full-text available
This second paper in a three-part series on antiracism in pain research across the translational spectrum focuses on study design factors. Although objectivity is a cornerstone value of science, subjectivity is embedded in every step of the research process as investigators make choices about who they collaborate with, which research questions they...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objectives Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have emerged as promising prophylactic episodic migraine treatments. The present study investigated biopsychosocial predictors and outcomes associated with formal, daily-life meditation practice in migraine patients undergoing MBI, and whether augmented mindfulness mechanistically underlies change....
Preprint
Full-text available
Formal training in mindfulness-based practices promotes reduced experimental and clinical pain, which may be driven by reduced emotional pain reactivity and undergirded by alterations in the default mode network (DMN), implicated in mind-wandering and self-referential processing. Recent results published in this journal suggest that trait mindfulne...
Article
Objective: Evidence suggests that blunted reward responsiveness may account for poor clinical outcomes in both opioid use disorder (OUD) and chronic pain. Understanding how individuals with OUD and comorbid chronic pain (OUD+CP) respond to rewards is, therefore, of clinical interest because it may reveal a potential point of behavioral interventio...
Article
Objective: While numerous studies show that preoperative pain catastrophizing is a risk factor for pain following total knee arthroplasty (TKA), little is known regarding the temporal course of the association between perioperative pain catastrophizing and pain severity. The present study investigated temporal changes and their dynamic association...
Article
Aim: To assess the role of momentary pain on opioid craving and illicit opioid use among individuals receiving opioid agonist treatment. Design: Observational study using ecological momentary assessment. Setting: The National Institute of Drug Abuse's Intramural Research Program in the USA. Participants: Fifty-six adults who qualified for op...
Article
Full-text available
Depressive symptoms are common among individuals with chronic pain. Previous work suggests that chronic pain patients have difficulty regulating emotional responses, which is a risk factor for the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). Function of the mesocorticolimbic system, a neural network associated with reward processing, contributes...
Article
Objective Capsaicin is a widely utilized experimental pain stimulus; however, few studies have reported on ethnic differences in pain responses to capsaicin. The present study used infrared thermography to 1) measure differences in capsaicin-induced neurogenic flare between non-Hispanic black (NHB) and non-Hispanic white (NHW) adults and 2) determi...
Article
Epidemiological studies suggest that women are not only at a higher risk for developing knee osteoarthritis (KOA), but also report greater symptom severity compared to men. One potential underlying mechanism of these sex differences may be exaggerated inflammatory responses to pain among women compared to men. The present study examined sex differe...
Article
Although ethnic differences in pain perception are well documented, the underlying mechanism for these outcomes has not been established. µ-opioid receptor (MOR) function might contribute to this disparity, given that MORs play a key role in pain sensitivity and modulation. However, no study has characterized ethnic differences in MOR physiology. T...
Article
Full-text available
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of chronic pain and disability in older adults, which most commonly affects the joints of the knee, hip, and hand. To date, there are no established disease modifying interventions that can halt or reverse OA progression. Therefore, treatment is focused on alleviating pain and maintaining or improving physical...
Article
Full-text available
There has been an explosion of interest in the utility of cannabinoids as potential analgesics. This systematic review critically synthesizes the evidence for cannabinoid analgesic effects on quantitative sensory testing outcomes in both healthy adults and patients with chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP). Our systematic review protocol is pre-registere...
Article
Full-text available
Previous work suggests that sleep disruption can contribute to poor pain modulation. Here, we used experimental sleep disruption to examine the relationship between sleep disruption‐induced pain sensitivity and functional connectivity (FC) of cognitive networks contributing to pain modulation. Nineteen healthy individuals underwent two counterbalan...
Article
Full-text available
Prolonged, disabling fatigue is the hallmark of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Previous neuroimaging studies have provided evidence for nervous system involvement in CFS etiology, including perturbations in brain structure/function. In this arterial spin labeling (ASL) MRI study, we examined variability in cerebral blood flow (CBFV) and heart rate...
Article
Study objectives: Sleep disturbances increase vulnerability for depression, but the mechanisms underlying this relationship are not well known. We investigated the effects of experimental sleep disruption on response bias (RB), a measure of reward learning previously linked to depression, and the moderating role of positive affect responses. Meth...
Article
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a medical condition in which chronic pain is common and negatively impacts psychosocial function and quality of life. While the brain mechanisms underlying chronic pain are well studied in other painful conditions, the brain mechanisms underlying chronic pain and the associated psychosocial comorbidities are not well es...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Hydroxyurea (HU) is a drug that targets the underlying pathophysiology of sickle cell disease (SCD); however, it continues to be an underutilized treatment for adults. Previous research suggests that HU treatment can result in fewer hospital contacts for acute vaso-occlusive pain crises (VOC). Hydroxyurea's impact on non-VOC pain, howe...
Article
Full-text available
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder associated with fatigue, pain, and structural/functional abnormalities seen during magnetic resonance brain imaging (MRI). Therefore, we evaluated the performance of structural MRI (sMRI) abnormalities in the classification of CFS patients versus healthy controls and compared it to machine learning (ML)...
Article
Full-text available
Chronic musculoskeletal pain condition often shows poor correlations between tissue abnormalities and clinical pain. Therefore, classification of pain conditions like chronic low back pain, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia depends mostly on self report and less on objective findings like X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) changes. However, r...
Article
Studies using arterial spin labelling (ASL) have shown that individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have decreased regional cerebral blood flow, which may be associated with changes in functional neural networks. Indeed, recent studies indicate disruptions in functional connectivity (FC) at rest in chronically fatigued patients including pe...
Article
The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is implicated in pain modulation via multiple psychological processes. Recent non-invasive brain stimulation studies suggest that interhemispheric DLPFC connectivity influence pain tolerance and discomfort by altering interhemispheric inhibition. The structure and role of interhemispheric DLPFC connectivit...
Article
Background: Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a debilitating disorder characterized by severe fatigue and neurocognitive dysfunction. Recent work from our laboratory and others utilizing arterial spin labeling functional magnetic resonance imaging (ASL) indicated that ME/CFS patients have lower resting state regional c...
Article
Test-retest reliability, or reproducibility of results over time, is poorly established for functional brain connectivity (fcMRI) during painful stimulation. As reliability informs the validity of research findings, it is imperative to examine, especially given recent emphasis on using functional neuroimaging as a tool for biomarker development. Al...
Article
Recent studies have posited that machine learning (ML) techniques accurately classify individuals with and without pain solely based on neuroimaging data. These studies claim that self-report is unreliable, making "objective" neuroimaging classification methods imperative. However, the relative performance of ML on neuroimaging and self-report data...
Article
Unlabelled: Demographic characteristics have been found to influence pain management decisions, but limited focus has been placed on participants' reactions to feedback about their use of sex, race, or age to make these decisions. The present study aimed to examine the effects of providing feedback about the use of demographic cues to participants...
Article
Unlabelled: The default mode network (DMN), a group of brain regions implicated in passive thought processes, has been proposed as a potentially informative neural marker to aid in novel treatment development. However, the DMN's internal connectivity and its temporal relationship (ie, functional network connectivity) with pain-related neural netwo...
Article
Full-text available
Although the extant literature on face recognition skills in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) shows clear impairments compared to typically developing controls (TDC) at the group level, the distribution of scores within ASD is broad. In the present research, we take a dimensional approach and explore how differences in social attention during an eye...
Conference Paper
Background: Numerous studies have found that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have face processing impairments compared with typically developing controls (e.g. Wolf et al., 2008) yet, the precise etiology of these deficits remains unknown (Schultz 2005). Recent theories posit that early neurodevelopment is derailed due to diminished s...

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