Dr. Stella Iacovides

Dr Stella Iacovides is a member of the Brain Function Research Group, and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Physiology, University of the Witwatersrand. Her research has foucused on how repetitive menstrual pain impacts on various aspects of physiological health (including mood, quality of life and sleep), and how treatment (with an anti-inflammatory) effectively attenuates daytime and night-time pain, and restores the pain-induced sleep disturbances. Her findings that women with dysmenorrhoea are hypersensitive to various forms of deep-muscle pain throughout the menstrual cycle, support the existing hypothesis that recurrent menstrual pain is associated with central sensitisation. Stella is more recently channelling her research focus on the niche and intricate bidirectional interaction between pain and sleep. Stella is specifically interested at unravelling how sleep disturbance impacts pain perception and is exploring means (both physiological and psycosocial) to counter the perpetuating negative cycle between disturbed sleep and increased pain.

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