Tag Archives: research

Statins Increase Diabetes Risk by up to 50% in Older Women

Statins Increase Diabetes Risk by up to 50% in Older Women – By Pam Harrison – March 2017

Statin therapy increases the risk of new-onset diabetes in elderly women by 33%, and the higher the dose, the greater the risk, a new analysis of the observational Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health shows.

The new analysis included 8372 Australian women aged between 76 and 82 years at baseline who were followed for 10 years; it is published in the March issue of Drugs and Aging.

Dr Jones and colleagues note that the majority of participants in statin trials have been males and that females, especially elderly ones, have been underrepresented.   Continue reading

Why I Don’t Believe In Science

Why I Don’t Believe In Science | THCB – By Michel Accad, MD – Feb 16, 2016

As a case in point, a few weeks ago the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of the SPRINT trial which had randomized patients with high blood pressure to one of two treatment protocols:

  1. high intensity therapy, to try to achieve a systolic blood pressure less than 120 mmHg, or
  2. low intensity treatment for a more modest reduction in blood pressure (less than 140 mmHg).

To the surprise of many, the trial was stopped early because the difference in mortality rates between the two groups was statistically strong enough to trigger an automatic termination. Continue reading

Glial Cells: “Missing Link” in the Physiology of Pain

The “Missing Link” in the Physiology of Pain: Glial Cells – Practical Pain Management – May 2016

glial cells and their interactions have become recognized as having a critically important role in the generation and maintenance of acute and chronic pain… and may now be a “missing link” in our understanding of the conversion of acute to chronic pain and the development of chronic neuropathic pain

This conversion process has been called “chronification,” and includes

  • central sensitization,
  • neuroplastic changes,
  • altered pain modulation, and
  • changes to the “neuromatrix” of the central nervous system.

Continue reading

Opposing Effects of Expectancy and Somatic Focus on Pain

Opposing Effects of Expectancy and Somatic Focus on Pain – PLoS One. June 2012 – free full-text PMC article

High-pain expectancy increases pain and pain-related brain activity, creating a cycle of psychologically maintained pain.

Though these effects are robust, little is known about how expectancy works and what psychological processes either support or mitigate its effects. To address this, we independently manipulated pain expectancy and “top-down” attention to the body, and examined their effects on both a performance-based measure of body-focus and heat-induced pain.

Multi-level mediation analyses showed that high-pain expectancy substantially increased pain, replicating previous work.   Continue reading

Neuroscience 2016: Thermosensors

Neuroscience 2016: Part 1 | Thermosensors | Pain Research Forum – David Julius delivers sweeping history of thermosensors in featured lecture at Society for Neuroscience annual meeting – by Stephani Sutherland on 31 Jan 2017

Summary of a featured lecture delivered by David Julius, University of California, San Francisco. The lecture discussed the use of natural compounds to understand the structure and function of the TRPV1 ion channel.

Spicy plants and venomous beasts are the sources of natural products that have been used for decades to study neurophysiology. Rather than look for pain-relieving substances, Julius said he wanted to “flip the coin and find compounds that would activate pain.”

From a long list of compounds, a few emerged that could selectively activate pain-sensing nerve fibers, including capsaicin, menthol—which is cooling but can be painful—and isothiocyanates, volatile substances found in onions and other plants.   Continue reading

Pain sensitization affected by focus and expectancy

Below are 2 PubMed articles about pain sensitization and how affected that is by focus and expectancy.

Characteristics of sensitization associated with chronic pain conditions – Clin J Pain.  Apr 2015

Objectives: To describe and understand varieties and characteristics of sensitization contributing to hyperalgesia for patients with chronic pain conditions.

Methods: Thermal stimulation was delivered to the face, forearm and calf of pain-free subjects and individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), temporomandibular pain disorder (TMD) and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).    Continue reading

Proven Long-term Opioid Pain Relief: No Tolerance or Hyperalgesia

Proven Long-term Opioid Pain Relief:
No Tolerance or Hyperalgesia

I found 5 NIH PubMed articles on the new extended-release hydrocodone pill, Hysingla ER, that prove effective long-term (up to one year) pain relief from an opioid.

Additionally, this is achieved without tolerance or hyperalgesia (the boogeymen of anti-opioid scaremongering).

These studies, undertaken to prove the efficacy of Hysingla ER, also prove that once titrated to an effective dose, patients did not develop tolerance. They found the same doses effective all year.   Continue reading

How to read and understand a scientific paper

Impact of Social Sciences – How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists

From vaccinations to climate change, getting science wrong has very real consequences.

But journal articles, a primary way science is communicated in academia, are a different format to newspaper articles or blogs and require a level of skill and undoubtedly a greater amount of patience.

Here Jennifer Raff has prepared a helpful guide for non-scientists on how to read a scientific paper.   Continue reading

Opioids Blamed for Side-Effects of Chronic Pain

Opioids Blamed for Consequences of Chronic Pain – National Pain Report – 2/23/2017

I’ve noticed a trend in the proliferating numbers of studies ostensibly investigating the damaging effects of opioid therapy:

whatever the negative outcome,
researchers correlate or attribute it
to the opioid medications instead of the underlying pain.

I have been scientifically inclined since childhood and believe there’s always a reason for how scientific studies are designed, but in this case, I’m flummoxed. I hope someone with a better understanding of current research protocols can explain away this apparent design flaw I’ve detailed in my article and restore my faith in the NIH and its research.

Reply to Study of Rx Drug Monitoring

Reply to Study of Rx Drug Monitoring Programs – Health Affairs – June 2016 – David L. Evans, Nurse Practitioner

I’m encouraged by this professional’s response to yet another study about opioid prescribing that refuses to acknowledge that none of these restrictive policies are diminishing overdoses.

More money is still being spent on creating and studying methods to reduce opioid prescribing, which only serves to deflect our attention from the real problem, which is the increasing rate of addiction in America.

It seems blatantly obvious that to decrease overdoses, we must decrease addiction.   Continue reading