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Promise for chronic pain relief without cognative impairment

The Holy Grail of chronic pain is to eliminate the pain without impairing thinking, alertness, coordination, or other vital functions of the nervous system. A study using a combination of capsaicin—the substance that makes chili peppers hot—and a drug called QX-314, was successful in blocking pain-sensing neurons in rats without impairing movement or other sensations… Read More

Death By Prescription

Death by Prescription, by Ray D. Strand M.D., tells how Americans were once protected by the Federal Drug Administration, which now acts more like an advocate for the pharmaceutical companies than a guardian for the general public.  There was a time when Americans could feel protected by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). It was a time when only 3-4%… Read More

Disability insurance promises sometimes fail to deliver

It sounds like a good idea. You are unable to work and long disability insurance will pay you a portion of your annual salary. At least that is what CIGNA insurance promised Susan Kristoff. When Kristoff found herself battling cancer she found that she would also have to battle CIGNA insurance for the protection she… Read More

The objective versus subjective evaluation of chronic pain

Pain is always associated with negative emotions. When pain extends over a long period of time and becomes chronic it changes one’s outlook on life. One issue that rises when treating chronic pain is that the interpretation of the pain levels is always subjective. Most often diagnosis is done with the patient describing when the… Read More

Chronic back pain associated with brain matter

The mystical leap between the brain and chronic pain conditions remains speculative, according to this November 17, 2004, article in the Journal of Neuroscience. A study of 26 chronic back pain patients (CBP), and an equal number of control subjects, showed a 5-11% loss of neocortical gray matter volume than the control group. A 5-11%… Read More

Cognitive problems increased in older patients who undergo surgery

Patients who have elective surgery that requires general anesthesia sometimes experience postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD). For some time, heart surgery patients have been known to be at risk for POCD–problems with memory, concentration , and processing of information. Terri Monk, M.D., anesthesiologist Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Duke University, reports in the January 1… Read More

Why depression medication fails to work for some patients

Depressed people are known to have fewer of the ‘feel-good’ receptors for serotonin. Jon-Kar Zubieta, MD, PhD, University of Michigan, reports that depression is rooted in genetic and molecular factors and are unique for each individual. Using PET (positron emission tomography) scans, Zubieta studied patients who met the criteria for major depression, but had not… Read More

Video discussing A-beta and Alzheimer’s gene

ScienCentralNews and Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern present a short video (1:28) explaining what research is being done to determine whether beta-amyloid plaque, found in Alzheimer’s patients, is a cause or symptom of the disease. If it is determined whether the plaque is a by-product or the cause, then there is a good chance… Read More

Brain stimulation improves cognition

When a person experiences sleep deprivation they also reduce their working memory ability. Working memory is a form of short-term memory that relates to the ability to store task-specific information–like where you parked your car in a huge parking lot. Bruce Luber, Ph.D., instructor clinical psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, studied on… Read More

Contradiction between 2 diabetes treatment trials

Individuals with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease–the leading cause of death in people with diabetes. Previous studies suggest that reducing blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetes to comparable levels found in non-diabetic adults may reduce the rate of cardio vascular disease of diabetic patients. Two studies were developed to test… Read More

Rheumatoid arthritis early death linked to smoking

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease. Patients with RA tend to die younger and largely from cardiovascular disease (CVD). A marker of inflammation is an elevation of the C-reactive protein (CRP) and has been shown to predict CVD. Dr. Tracey M. Farragher, University of Manchester, wondered why other inflammatory diseases, like Crohn’s disease… Read More

Neck pain and its treatment

Neck pain is a serious condition for many people. It can cause headaches, arm and upper back pain, even depression. Dr. Scott Haldeman, clinical professor of neurology, University of California-Irvine, found in his study of neck pain that it is a widespread experience that is a persistent and recurrent condition for the majority of sufferers… Read More