Tag Archives: research

Can meditation really make the world a better place?

Can meditation really make the world a better place? – Ute Kreplin | Aeon Essays – July 2018

Among the promised psychological and physical benefits of meditation are the elimination or reduction of

  • stress, anxiety and depression, as well as
  • bipolar disorder,
  • eating disorders,
  • diabetes,
  • substance abuse,
  • chronic pain,
  • blood pressure,
  • cancer,
  • autism and
  • schizophrenia.

Continue reading


Sampling Bias in Pain Research: Update

Pain, Please: an Investigation of Sampling Bias in Pain ResearchKai Karos, Jessica M. Alleva, Madelon L. Peter – Science Direct – March 2018

I only had access to the abstract of this article in March, but now I have a PDF of the whole study – excerpts follow the abstract below.

The results are quite clear: thrill seekers – the ones who are more susceptible to addiction – are the ones who sign up for pain studies.


  • Experimental pain research may be especially susceptible for sampling bias.
  • Fear of pain was associated with perceived likelihood of participation.
  • Sensation seeking was associated with participation in experimental pain research.
  • Sampling bias can threaten the external validity and generalizability of pain research.

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Key Protein Involved in Triggering Inflammation

Researchers Identify Key Protein Involved in Triggering Inflammation – Jun-2018 – Source Newsroom: University of Illinois at Chicago

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified a protein that is crucial for activating inflammation — both the good kind of inflammation that leads to healing wounds and fighting infection, as well as excessive inflammation where the immune system can damage tissues and organs.

The protein — an ion channel that spans the membrane of immune cells — presents a new target for the development of drugs that can restrain overblown inflammatory responses. The researchers report their findings in the journal Immunity Continue reading

Symptom (pain) trends in the last year of life

Symptom trends in the last year of life, 1998-2010: A cohort study – free full-text article /PMC4346253/ – Feb 2015


Research in the 1990s described serious symptoms at the end of life, and a 1997 Institute of Medicine report called for improvement. Hospice and palliative care have grown considerably since then.


To describe changes in pain intensity and symptom prevalence during the last year of life from 1998 to 2010.  Continue reading

Lab animals studied in unrealistic conditions

Swapping a cage for a barn: Can lab animals be studied in the wild? | Science | AAAS |By David Grimm

The environment a laboratory animal lives in can have a dramatic impact on whether it’s a good model for human disease.

A mouse that lives in a shoebox-size cage, for example, gets less exercise than its wild relatives, and thus may not be the best model for studying obesity.

This is a blatant problem being ignored in animal studies of pain. Lab animals in such unrealistic environments cannot simulate human pain responses, let alone human chronic pain syndromes with their supposed biopsychosocial complexity.   Continue reading

Rats, Depression, and Chronic Pain

Rats, Depression and Chronic Pain — Pain News Network – By Pat Anson, Editor – May 2018

The results of this study would seem proof that chronic pain leads to depression, not the other way around, as so many “pain experts “ would like to believe.

These findings, if confirmed in people, will enhance the understanding of the impact of chronic pain on the brain, its relation to depression, and the effects of opioids.”

In the NIH/McGill study, 17 rats had brain surgeries to produce a nerve injury that causes chronic pain, while another group of rats had sham surgeries (a similar procedure that did not cause chronic pain). Continue reading

A Pathogenic Autoantibody Causes Pain

When the Immune System Attacks Its Own Proteins, Pain Can Emerge – RELIEF: PAIN RESEARCH NEWS, INSIGHTS AND IDEAS – April 2018

The results of this study are pretty amazing: injecting a “pain protein” from humans into normal mice caused the mice to feel pain.

This directly contradicts the popular belief that pain isn’t a physical entity in itself, but rather a bio-psycho-social disorder. Now we know that’s simply not true.

Unremitting pain may eventually create a bio-psycho-social disorder by leading to deconditioning, depression, and isolation, but those are consequences, not causes.    Continue reading

A Common Brainwave Pattern in Multiple Disorders

A Common Brainwave Pattern in Multiple Disorders – by Brenda Kelley Kim – May 2018

A study found some fascinating similarities of activities in different parts of the brain for 4 different health disorders.

Brainwaves are a demonstration of the electrical signals that are passing through the brain between different neurons.

They are a series of quick-fire electrical spikes that originate from different parts of the brain and they can be recorded on an electroencephalograph (EEG).   Continue reading

The New Drug for Migraines Has Some Drawbacks

The New Drug for Migraines Has Some Drawbacks Beth Skwarecki – May 2018

Ms. Skwarecki points out that, while some patients responded extremely well, the drug may not be effective at all for another sizeable cohort of patients.

The FDA just approved a new, first-of-its-kind drug intended to prevent migraines.

It comes in an auto-injector device (you stab yourself once a month) at a list price of $575 a pop.Meanwhile, people on r/migraine are saying it isn’t much more expensive than the other drugs they already take.   Continue reading

Review and comparison of opioid therapy guidelines

Chronic opioid therapy for chronic non-cancer pain: a review and comparison of treatment guidelines. – PubMed – NCBI – Pain Physician. 2014 Sep-Oct – Free full-text PDF article

Here is another study concluding that “There is a growing body of scientific evidence to support opioid use in chronic pain.”


To review expert-developed practice guidelines on chronic opioid therapy, published in different countries over the past decade in order to reveal similar principles of therapy and to provide useful information and references for future development of opioid guidelines to identify adequately supported practice points and areas in need of further scientific evidence.   Continue reading