Mass General Studies Molecule Linking Sleep Deprivation with Increased Pain Sensitivity Interview with:
Shiqian Shen, M.D.
Assistant Anesthetist
–Anesthesia & Crit. Care, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor of Anaesthesia
–Harvard Medical School
Physician Investigator (Cl)
–Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Mass General Research Institute What is the background for this study? Would you describe the function of NADA?

Response:  Both sleep disorders and chronic pain are very prevalent among adults. For example, about one third of U.S. adults report some level of sleep disturbance. Both common life experience and medial research strongly suggest that sleep deprivation leads to heightened pain experience/perception. However, the mechanisms of this link are not entirely clear. Hence we decide to study this important question.

NADA, N-arachidonoyl dopamine was first discovered to be an agonist for the Cannabinoid Receptor 1 and it was found in the brain of animals. It belongs to the endocannabinoid family. Additionally, NADA also belongs to the endovanilloid family. Administration of NADA to rodents produces a wide variety of behavioral changes, including behaviors mimicking the physiological paradigms association with cannabinoids. However, its physiological function is not well characterized.

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Fibromyalgia: Imaging Studies Find Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Reduces Pain Catastrophizing Interview with:
Jeungchan Lee, Ph.D.,
MGH/HST Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical ImagingSpaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Charlestown, MA 024129

Jeungchan Lee, Ph.D.,
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
MGH/HST Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical ImagingSpaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Charlestown, MA 024129 What is the background for this study?

Response: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown promise in alleviating fibromyalgia (FM) symptoms by targeting pain-related catastrophizing, which comprises negative cognitive and emotional processes amplifying pain perception.

However, the neurological mechanisms underlying CBT’s impact on pain catastrophizing in FM patients have remained unclear.

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Redheads May Experience Pain Differently Interview with:
David E. Fisher MD, PhD
Edward Wigglesworth Professor & Chairman
Dept of Dermatology
Director, Melanoma Program MGH Cancer Center
Director, Cutaneous Biology Research Center
Massachusetts General Hospital
Harvard Medical School

Dr. Fisher  What is the background for this study?

Response: This study followed up on prior published work from other investigators which demonstrated altered pain thresholds in humans and mice who had the redhair light-skin phenotypes.  The key focus of our current study was to firstly validate the overall findings, and then to  the mechanistic basis for the differences.  Of note, our laboratory does not primarily focus on the science of pain or nociceptive, but rather on skin and melanoma. For this reason we had accumulated a number of valuable genetic models of pigmentation (such as redhaired mice harboring alterations in the identical gene implicated in human red hair).  These mouse models served as the key resources for carrying out the current study.

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