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In a thought a provoking blog based upon research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Paula Span discusses the difficulty in surrogate decision making when a loved one is nearing the end of their life. Though typically assumed to be a communication error, the disconnect between what doctors tell loved ones about the patients chances and what they hear may more likely be caused by an optimistic bias in favor of a good outcome. The caretakers do understand what they are being told, they simply tend to believe their loved one will beat the odds. Read more below:
At 43 years old, Heidi Therrien did not wish to be retired and isolated in her home. However, a pain condition she developed nearly a decade ago had forced her to do so. She began having pains in her face, and having years of searching for the cause she was finally diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic condition that affects the nerves of the face, causing typical activities such as walking through the freezer section of a grocery store or brushing your teeth to be excruciating. She could not find non-surgical relief until she met with Dr. Kevin Yiee, who offered to use the CyberKnife. Although typically used for cancer, the tool focuses radiation on a very small area, and Dr. Yiee used it on her facial nerves affected by her disorder. She has since had vast improvements in her pain and is hoping to return to work.
BioDelivery, a research company, has developed a treatment for chronic pain that involves a thin film strip being applied to the inside of the cheek, where it will dissolve in less than thirty minutes. The company has stated that this type of treatment is most relevant for pain patients that need rapid delivery, cannot take oral doses, or have problems with injections and intravenous lines. Endo Pharma agreed to pay up to $180 million for the licensing rights to develop and sell the drug, which is in the late stages of research.
On December 11th, the largest medical conference focused on the new anti-aging to age-related issues, titled A4M, began in Las Vegas. Dr Norm Shealy will be discussing Energy medicine, while other conference tracks will present on the metabolic approach to pain control and causes of chronic pain. A local company will also be revealing the RITM Scenar, a new technological breakthrough designed to use the body’s own healing ability to naturally ease pain.
Irving Kahn has been a stock broker since 1928 (a year before the great depression) and has been trading stocks ever since. Scientist have conducted studies on him in order to identify the secret behind his longevity. They discovered that Mr. Kahn has a gene that may explain why he and his siblings have lived past the age of 100. Check out the link below to learn more about his incredible story.
University of California San Francisco has published a study reporting that medical marijuana, in combination with certain opiates, can safely and effectively help diminish chronic pain in sufferers. The group tested cannabinoids inhaled through a vaporizer in combination with morphine and oxycodone, which had the effect of further reducing pain in the patients by 33% and 20% respectively. The doctors who created this study find it upsetting that after sixteen years of medical marijuana being available to the “sick and dying” in California, the elderly and the sick still have problems finding access. All involved called for further research on the drug to see what other medical properties it might have.
A recent post from the Huffington Post’s chronic pain blog presents Chaunte Smith’s personal experience with the condition and addresses methods that women can use to be proactive about RA treatment. Here is an excerpt from the post: ” Smith, who comes out of a background in the pharmaceutical industry, intuited that something other than first time motherhood was at play. She said, “I could barely walk. I couldn’t pick up my newborn.” She connected with a rheumatologist, and in tandem they determined what her course of treatment would be. Smith knew that she wanted to have a second child, and her choice of medications was informed by that fact.”
A link to the post is provided below:
In an article published in the December issue of the journal Pain, researchers in Nova Scotia have reported that a comprehensive review of 41 studies on pain in children published since 1991 have revealed that children and adolescents experience similar levels of chronic pain as adults. Though typically considered an adult affliction, chronic pain conditions such as frequent headaches and stomach pain occurs in many children. Understanding the patterns of pain in children might help to alleviate their suffering as well as further our understanding of chronic pain in adults.
Amp Orthopedics has announced a clinical trial for a device to treat people with mild to moderate knee pain from osteaoarthritis (OA). The trial is a randomized, sham-controlled, double-blind study of 150 patients aimed to test the safety and effectiveness of the company’s non-thermal pulsed radio frequency (PRF) technology to ameliorate pain. The study is being conducted by Mytrus, a company considered revolutionary in that it directly recruits candidates for trials through the internet using tools such as social media sites. The results of the trial should be published in 2012.