Study Aims to Improve Responsiveness to Hypnosis, Better Able to Treat Pain and Other Conditions Interview with:
Afik Faerman, PhD
NIMH T32 Postdoctoral Fellow
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University
Division 30 (Psychological Hypnosis)
American Psychological Association What is the background for this study?

Response: Hypnosis offers an effective drug-free approach to treat a variety of psychophysiological symptoms, particularly pain. Unfortunately, not everyone benefits equally from hypnosis. The ability to experience suggestions in hypnosis (hypnotizability) is distributed in a bell-shaped curve across the population, with only about 20% considered highly hypnotizable. We wanted to test if we could make the brains of people who were not highly hypnotizable act and function as if they were, hoping such a possibility would open the door for improving therapy.

Several brain structures were previously linked to responsiveness to hypnosis, and modulating them could, theoretically, increase hypnotizability. Based on previous work, we created an approach (termed SHIFT) using individual brain scans to find the best part of the brain to stimulate.

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Osteoarthritis: Emory Study Compares Cell-based vs Corticosteroid Injections Interview with:
Dr. Ken Mautner, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and
Department of Orthopedic Surgery
Emory University
Atlanta, GA What is the background for this study?

Response: With so much talk about “stem cell” therapy in orthopedics today and with the burden of pain from millions who suffer from knee osteoarthritis,  we wanted to conduct a well designed study that would allow us to see if there is a superior source of cellular treatments for knee osteoarthritis.  We were fortunate to receive a large grant from the Marcus Foundation to conduct this study.  

While there are some studies out there on the topic, very few have the scientific rigor that our study had including patients being blinded to whether they were getting a steroid injection or a cellular treatment.  

Our study included four different treatment options: an injection of bone marrow concentrate, stroll vascular fraction, umbilical cord tissue, and corticosteroids.  

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