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American Pain Society's 25th Annual Scientific Meeting, May 3-6, 2006

American Pain Society's 25th Annual Scientific Meeting

The American Pain Society's 25th Annual Scientific Meeting took place May 3-6 in San Antonio and attracted about 1,500 leading researchers from around the world. The meeting's main theme was the multi-disciplinary treatment of pain. Plenary sessions and lectures addressed translational medicine, pain receptors and central sensitization, which causes neurons to signal pain in the absence of tissue damage.

Rami Burstein, Ph.D., of Harvard University in Boston, presented evidence that central sensitization occurs not just in laboratory animals but also in the human brain. "He gave the example of people with chronic headaches who develop pain and tenderness around their eyes when they touch their eyes," said Gregory Terman, M.D., of the University of Washington and the meeting's scientific program chair. "This has clinical ramifications because if you can hurry and treat that headache before it sensitizes those neurons in the brain you can stop that sensitization from taking place."

Two other researchers, Karen J. Berkley, Ph.D., of the University of Washington, and Eugene Carragee, Ph.D., of Stanford University, discussed central sensitization in pelvic and low-back pain. "People are having lots of back surgeries trying to fix what's assumed to be a pinched nerve or a disc that's compressing a nerve, but there's no evidence of a peripheral pain generator," Terman said. "So we're left with trying to figure out how to treat these sorts of problems if there's no quick fix, if there's no generator that can be cut out. What can you do about a central nervous system that is possibly misinterpreting all sensation as painful or tissue damage? Unfortunately, there's no easy answer."

Ron Dubner, D.D.S., of the University of Maryland, presented a lecture entitled, The 4th Annual Decade of Pain Control and Research. "Over the years, Dr. Dubner has been a pioneer in translational research, developing animal models of so-called neuropathic pain," Terman said. "His lab found that treating neuropathic with antidepressants is extremely useful. It's the kind of translational research that the NIH says it's so interested in."

Michael Walker, Ph.D., presented data that found endogenous cannabinoids that help in daily responses to pain, Terman said. "Using data from animal studies, he suggested that anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen may not only work through the peripheral mechanism of blocking inflammation but also through a central mechanism that increases production of these endocannabinoids in the brain and spinal cord. That's new data, as yet not proven, but an interesting way of thinking."

David Julius, Ph.D., of the University of California San Francisco, who discovered the so-called capsaicin receptor, presented research into other types of pain receptors, said Terman. "He's been looking for receptors that are involved in cold perception, receptors for substances such as menthol or peppermint extracts, which are perceived as cool," Terman said. "He discussed a pain sensor that's very different from the capsaicin heat sensor he'd studied previously."

Menstrual Cycle May Affect Fibromyalgia Pain

TUESDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with fibromyalgia, the menstrual cycle may affect pain processing, with greater activation in the luteal and ovulation phases, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

Abstract

Gender Differences Seen in Mood-Pain Relationship

MONDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Negative mood and pain affect the level of disability in both men and women, but the association may be stronger in women, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

Abstract (#897)

Pain-Study Participation Rate Varies by Ethnicity

MONDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Different types of recruiting methods for pain studies may be more successful in some ethnic groups than others, and these differences may help explain why some studies have found that pain sensitivity can vary with ethnicity, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

Abstract

Psychosocial Characteristics Predict Work-Injury Outcomes

MONDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- A patient's psychosocial characteristics assessed soon after submission of a workers' compensation back injury claim can help predict pain and physical disability one year later, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

Abstract

Intravenous Lidocaine May Produce Sustained Pain Relief

MONDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- A single infusion of intravenous lidocaine may result in sustained pain relief in patients with chronic pain, according to the results of an uncontrolled trial presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

Abstract

Cognitive Factors Affect Acceptance of Chronic Pain

MONDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic pain, those with high levels of active engagement are less likely to have rumination and feelings of helplessness, anxiety and depression than those with lower levels, and mood and dysfunctional thoughts can predict active engagement, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

Abstract

Pain Study Shows Mixed Results from Cannabis

MONDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- A medium dose of cannabis may decrease pain but higher doses may increase it, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

Abstract

Cold Perception Hypoesthesia Seen in Amputees

FRIDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Distal residual limbs in amputees show significant cold perception hypoesthesia, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

Abstract (#723)

Animal Study Questions Use of Morphine for Bone Pain

FRIDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- A study in mice suggests that sustained morphine exposure may paradoxically increase pain and speed bone loss in patients with metastases, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

Abstract (#631)

Opioid Use Associated with Gastrointestinal Adverse Events

FRIDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic opioid use for pain is associated with significant gastrointestinal adverse events in spite of laxative use, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

Abstract

Bupivacaine Spray During Laparoscopy Cuts Later Pain

THURSDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Spraying aerosolized bupivacaine intraoperatively can reduce pain following laparoscopic cholecystectomy, according to the results of a randomized, controlled, double-blind trial presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

Abstract

Physician's Briefing

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