• For low-back pain, paracetamol ‘no better than placebo’
    Paracetamol - known in the US as acetaminophen - is widely recommended for low-back pain. But a new analysis suggests it performs no better than a placebo in aiding recovery. Back Pain News From Medical News Today
  • Stimulating a specific brain pathway may induce active emergence from anesthesia
    Researchers may be one step closer to better understanding how anesthesia works. Pain / Anesthetics News From Medical News Today
  • New Study Has Significant Implications for Pain Researchers and Health Planners
    Research published online last week in the journal Pain found that two widely used measures of pain-related burden of disease, called EuroQol (EQ)-5D and SF-6D (from SF-12/36), generated widely differing scores for the same groups of chronic pain patients, which could have major implications for understanding the true health state of such patients. The findings additionally call into question the validity of comparing studies that have used different assessment tools. The Researchers noted that the rationale for using health-related quality of life (HRQoL) questionnaires such as the popular tools studied is that they provide a generic, preference-weighted index that enables the severity of different conditions to be estimated consistently. But the wide variances in scores noted in this study indicates that the choice between these tools needs to be considered in drawing conclusions about the absolute burden of disease and the economic evaluation of interventions. Read a news story, with link to the research abstract, here.
  • Study Illuminates Cellular and Neural Mechanism of Digestion
    Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine have reported progress in understanding the role of immune system cells in healthy digestive tracts and how they interact with neighboring nerve cells. The knowledge may lead to new treatments for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A potential cause of IBS is a change in the bacterial environment in the intestine. The study, published this month in the journal Cell, examined how disturbances in this environment can lead to miscommunication between immune system cells called muscularis macrophages and intestinal neurons that regulate digestive contraction and relaxation. The authors assert that their work may illuminate how the nervous system cells, the muscularis macrophages and signals from inside the intestine interact. Read more about the findings here.
Daniel Carr, MD, FABPM
Pain Research, Education, and Policy Program
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine
Tufts Medical Center
Boston, MA


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