Virgina Tech Study Demonstrates Focused Brain Ultrasound Can Reduce Both Pain Perception and Response to Pain

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Wynn Legon, Ph.D.
Assistant professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC and in the
School of Neuroscience in Virginia Tech’s College of Science.
The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, located in Roanoke, Virginia, is a top-level research institute of Virginia Tech.

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: My lab is focused on identifying new indications for which low-intensity focused ultrasound, or LIFU, might provide a benefit. In particular, we are focused on the insula and dorsal anterior cingulate, areas deep inside the brain implicated in a range of conditions. Chronic pain is among these.

These two papers provide proof-of-principle to confirm that focused ultrasound energy applied to these regions can impact both the perception of pain and the body’s reaction to a painful stimulus. Participants in the studies reported a reduction in perceived pain that depended on which site was targeted. Further, the application of low-intensity focused ultrasound also reduced physical responses to pain as measured by heart rate variability, again depending on which site was targeted.

Socially Disadvantaged Women Received Fewer Epidurals for Pain Relief During Childbirth

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Lucy Halliday
School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing
University of Glasgow
Glasgow, UK

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MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Socioeconomic deprivation is associated with adverse maternal and childhood outcomes. Epidural analgesia is the gold standard for labour analgesia, and is associated with improved maternal pain scores and satisfaction, reduced rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and postnatal depression and may reduce severe maternal morbidity. Scotland is a country with a fully publicly funded national health service that aims to provide equitable treatment that is free at the point of care. We wanted to look at the association between socioeconomic deprivation and utilisation of labour epidural analgesia.

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Migraines: IPhones Allow Monitoring of Sleep, Eating and Mood Triggers

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Kathleen R. Merikangas, Ph.D.
NIH Distinguished Investigator

Chief of the Genetic Epidemiology Research Branch
Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Mental Health
Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We have been studying differences in patterns of migraine in males and females and how it changes across the life span. We focus on recruiting people from the general community rather than those who come to clinical settings who tend to have more severe cases of headaches. This allows us to gather information that can generalize to the community.  We have taken advantage of the widespread use of mobile phones to administer assessments of physical and mental health in real time naturalistic settings.

The question that we addressed in this paper was whether we could identify changes in mental or physical health that may be related to the onset of headache on the next day. identifying potential triggers of headache attacks can help us to avoid them when possible, to intervene as early as possible in the progression of headache attacks, and to gain insight into the underlying biologic and environmental factors involved in migraine.

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Neuropathy: Repeated High Concentration Capsaicin Patches Provided Back Pain Relief and Reduced Need for Opioids

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Kai-Uwe Kern MD, PhD
Institute of Pain Medicine/Pain Practice
Wiesbaden, Germany

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: In recent studies a progressive response to high-concentration capsaicin patch (HCCP) with repeated treatment was observed, meaning that patients with insufficient pain relief after the first application of HCCP, still may respond to a second, third, or even fourth application. Based on these latest findings, and also on my personal clinical experience, we aimed to systematically analyse the pool of patients in my Pain Practice with at least two HCCP treatments.

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NCCIH Study Finds Marked Increase in Complementary Health Approaches Among US Adults, Including for Pain Management

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Richard L. Nahin, Ph.D., M.P.H
Lead Epidemiologist
National Center for Complementary and Integration Health
NCCIH

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Millions of US adults use complementary health approaches (CHAs) each year. CHAs are health approaches typically not part of conventional medical care or with origins outside of Western medicine that are used together with conventional medical practice.

Some of the most well-known complementary health approaches include meditation, acupuncture, and yoga. While the safety and efficacy of many of these approaches previously lacked rigorous clinical trials, the last two decades saw an increase in evidence supporting the use of select approaches to manage health and pain.

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Back Pain: Study Analyzes Course of Acute, Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Prof. Lorimer Moseley PhD

DSc, FAAHMS, FACP, HonFFPMANZCA, HonMAPA, BAppSc(Phty)(Hons)
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
Foundation Chair in Physiotherapy
University of South Australia 
Chair of PainAdelaide Stakeholders’ Consortium

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: 12 years ago, members of our group gathered all the research studies that had followed people with back pain for a year and used all the combined data to get an idea of how well people with back pain do. That big study concluded that if you have had back pain for less than 6 weeks, you were highly likely to do really well and that if you had back pain for more than 6 weeks, things were still likely to go pretty well. That made us think ’so why do so many people have chronic back pain?’

Perhaps, by lumping sub-acute back pain (6-12 weeks) in with chronic back pain (>12 weeks) that study 12 years ago made outcomes for people with over 12 weeks of back pain look better than they really were. We decided to repeat that big study from 12 years ago but because there were likely to be many more research studies, we decided to divide the participants into three groups: those with back pain for less than 6 weeks, those with back pain for 6-12 weeks and those with back pain for more than 12 weeks. 

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Multiple Sclerosis: Widespread Pain with Nociplastic Features (WPNF) Linked to Low Physical Activity

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Libak Abou PhD, MPT
Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Michigan Medicine
Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Chronic pain is a common symptom experienced by persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) that affects their daily living functioning including physical activity. Growing evidence indicates that persons with MS may experience various types of chronic pain including widespread pain with nociplastic features (WPNF), nociceptive pain, and/or neuropathic pain. WPNF is a chronic and diffuse pain which can be challenging to localize or describe precisely. In person with multiple sclerosis, this type of pain arises from altered processing signals within the central nervous system. This is opposed to pain that arises from specific tissue damage, classified as nociceptive pain, or pain related to demyelination and axonal damage, classified as neuropathic pain.

Our main goal with this study was to investigate whether differences exists on the level of physical activity achieved by persons with MS based on the type of chronic pain they experience

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Gabapentinoids, Used for Epilepsy and Pain Relief, Associated with Exacerbation of Pulmonary Disease

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Christel Renoux,  MD, PhD
Associate Professor
Dept. of Neurology & Neurosurgery
McGill University
Centre For Clinical Epidemiology H-416.1
Jewish General Hospital – Lady Davis Research Institute
Montreal Canada and
Alvi Rahman MSc
Pharmacoepidemiologist | HEOR Consulting
McGill University
Montreal, Quebec, Canada 

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: . Gabapentinoids are anticonvulsant drugs that include the two drugs, gabapentin and pregabalin. They are indicated for the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathic pain, with minor variations between countries (pregabalin is also indicated for generalized anxiety disorders in some countries). However, they are often prescribed off-label for any type of pain, sometimes with the perception that they may be a safer alternative to opioids. Yet, gabapentinoids also may have serious adverse effects owing to the depressant effect they have on the central nervous system, which can lead to sedation or respiratory depression.

Several public health agencies have warned of breathing problems related to gabapentinoids, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Canada, and the European Medicines Agency. Specifically, the FDA suggested that patients with respiratory risk factors, including those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be at higher risk. These warnings were based mainly on case reports, and there was a lack of large population-based studies on this topic, which led us to conduct this study assessing the association between gabapentinoid use and severe exacerbation of COPD (hospitalization).

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Cannabis for Chronic Pain Linked to Increased Risk of Arrhythmia

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Anders Holt
Department of Cardiology
Copenhagen University Hospital—Herlev and Gentofte
Gentofte Hospitalsve
Hellerup, Denmark
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
School of Population Health, University of Aucklan
Auckland, New Zealand

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?


cannabis-marijuana

Response: The motivation for this study was the fact that medical cannabis is being made available as medical treatment for chronic pain in an increasing number of countries worldwide. Meanwhile, robust evidence on possible cardiovascular side-effects is very scarce. This could be worrisome since recreational cannabis previously have been associated with an elevated risk of arrhythmia and acute coronary syndromes.

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New Migraine Headaches Linked to Increased Motor Vehicle Crashes in Older Adults

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Carolyn DiGuiseppi, MD, MPH, PhD
Professor of Epidemiology
Colorado School of Public Health
University of Colorado Denver
Aurora, CO 80045

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Migraine headache is a leading cause of disability worldwide and affects many older adults in the US and globally.

Some of the symptoms of an acute migraine, like fatigue, impaired concentration, headache, or dizziness, could affect older adults’ ability to drive safely.  In fact, past research has suggested that people with migraine are at higher risk of having injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes (compared to people without this diagnosis). We wanted to learn whether the risk of crashes depends on whether people have had a migraine diagnosis for some time or have been recently diagnosed, and whether being treated with migraine medications affects the risk of crashes.

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