Tag Archives: research

More information not always better for decisions

When more information may not lead to better decisions | National Institutes of Health (NIH)March 3, 2020

Every day we use information about cause and effect to help make decisions. With advances in machine learning, computers are now able to turn data into sophisticated models of causation.

These models have the potential to help inform the choices that people make in their daily lives. However, it’s unclear how well people can use such models to make real-world decisions.

To me, this is about the difference between data, like raw numbers, and real information, like how the numbers interact with each other (causation, influence, etc.)  Continue reading

Microglia and Pain

Microglia may be the missing clue to solve the opioid epidemic – Sara WhitestoneNeuroscience – Université de Bordeaux – May 2019

neuroscientists have discovered a new therapeutic target for managing pain: microglia.

Pain, as an acute sensation, serves as a warning to help your body prevent injury or avoid further harm.

the message from your stubbed toe is forced to go through a series of checkpoints—or gates—which will either open or shut to control the intensity of pain you perceive.

When pain becomes chronic, this signaling and the gate controls go haywire. Nerves become hyper-sensitive, firing off messages to the brain even in the absence of an injury.   Continue reading

Blood Protein Changes Linked To Aging Process

Protein Waves In Blood Linked To Aging Process: Shots – Health News : NPR – by Richard Harris – Dec 2019

Scientists know that if they transfuse blood from a young mouse to an old one, then they can stave off or even reverse some signs of aging. But they don’t know what in the blood is responsible for this remarkable effect.

Researchers now report that they’ve identified hundreds of proteins in human blood that wax and wane in surprising ways as we age.

Wyss-Coray and his colleagues report in Nature Medicine on Thursday that these proteins change in three distinct waves, the first of which happens “very surprisingly” during our 30s, peaking around age 34.   Continue reading

Forced Exercise Less Beneficial than Voluntary

The Effects of Voluntary, Involuntary, and Forced Exercises on Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Motor Function Recovery: A Rat Brain Ischemia Model – free full-text /PMC3035657/ – Feb 2011

I was happy to find that what I have personally experienced has been proven to be true: forced exercise is not as beneficial as voluntary. Sometimes science actually proves our intuitions correct – surprise!

Stroke rehabilitation with different exercise paradigms has been investigated, but which one is more effective in facilitating motor recovery and up-regulating brain neurotrophic factor (BDNF) after brain ischemia would be interesting to clinicians and patients.

Continue reading

Modulation of pain by estrogens

Here are 4 PubMed scientific studies exploring how estrogen affects all different aspects of pain: its sensation, its interaction with opioid receptors, and its memory. Estrogen is clearly important, but the interactions with pain sensation are very complex.

Just like with hormone replacement therapy, the effects of estrogen on pain probably differ a great deal between individuals.

Pronociceptive and Antinociceptive Effects of Estradiol through Endogenous Opioid Neurotransmission in Women – NCBI – May 2006

Prominent interindividual and sex-dependent differences have been described in responses to sustained pain and other stressful stimuli. Variations in μ-opioid receptor-mediated endogenous opioid neurotransmission may underlie some of these processes.   Continue reading

The trouble with mice as behavioral models

The trouble with mice as behavioral models for Alzheimer’s – STATBy Adam Rosenberg – Apr 2019

It is becoming increasingly obvious that rodents cannot accurately model human diseases, let alone human behaviors.

I’ve always doubted the findings of pain studies that use rodents because these animals cannot possibly model what is claimed to be a bio-psycho-social syndrome.

There’s been a lot of talk about overinvestment in interventions aimed at amyloid in the weeks since Biogen discontinued a late-stage study of aducanumab, an experimental therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. Continue reading

Effects of opioids on cognition in older adults

The effects of opioids on cognition in older adults with cancer and chronic non-cancer pain: A systematic review. – PubMed – NCBI – J Pain Symptom Manage. Oct 2019

CONTEXT:
Opioids are prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain and can be used with older adults; however, they may lead to several adverse effects, including cognitive impairment.

OBJECTIVE:
To identify, appraise and synthesise evidence on

  • i) the impact of opioids on cognition in older adults with cancer/chronic non-cancer pain, and
  • ii) screening tools/neuropsychological assessments used to detect opioid-induced cognitive impairment.

Continue reading

Fascia Research from the NIH

Because fascia is made from collagen, the genetic defect from EDS will often cause us problems with this tissue. It’s thin, fragile, stretches too much, and gives way too easily.

PubMed Central® (PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).

Research on the body’s fascia (connective tissue) is finding more and more of its functions and abilities, going far beyond just “holding stuff together”.  I’ve posted here the abstracts of the following 4 articles and you can decide for yourself if they’re worth reading in full.

  1. Smooth Muscle
  2. Visceral Fascia
  3. Bone Tissue
  4. Hormone Receptor Expression in Human Fascial Tissue

Continue reading

The Tyranny of the Randomized Controlled Trial

Should we beware the tyranny of the randomized controlled trial? | Association of Health Care Journalistsby Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) – Jan 2017

The intersection of scientific research, evidence and expertise can be a dicey one, particularly in an age in which evidence-based medicine is replacing the clinical expertise of practitioners.

In The New York Times Sunday Review, Jamie Holmes wrote about how the challenge of assessing the quality of evidence against expertise and less stringently conducted research can lead readers to confusion and frustration.

It can lead to a further distrust of science, Holmes suggested, noting the example of dental flossing in the wake of an Associated Press story that questioned the evidence in favor of the practice.    Continue reading

Long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain

Long-term opioid therapy in chronic noncancer pain. NIH – Feb 2015 – a systematic review and meta-analysis of efficacy, tolerability, and safety in open-label extension trials with a study duration of at least 26 weeks (that’s 1/2 year).

This study confirms what pain patients all know: long-term opioids are effective for long-term pain, require few increases, and only rarely result in “opioid use disorder”. 

The efficacy and safety of long-term (≥ 6 months) opioid therapy (LtOT) in chronic noncancer pain (CNCP) is under debate.A systematic review with meta-analysis of the efficacy and harms of opioids in open-label extension studies of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) has not been conducted until now.   Continue reading