Experiments in one of the oldest forms of life on Earth are helping to answer basic questions about how general anesthesia works, according to a study in the January issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). "Although the anesthetizing properties of ether have been known for over 150 years, scientists still do not know how ether and the other inhaled anesthetics act, " comments Dr. Steven L. Shafer of Columbia University, Editor-in-Chief of Anesthesia & Analgesia. "One challenge has been the diverse nature of substances that produce anesthetic effects, ranging from an atom (xenon), to a simple molecule (nitrous oxide), to a variety of organic solvents. How could such a diverse set of molecules cause a specific behavior: reversible loss of consciousness? The search has been complicated by our inability to find a suitably simple system in which to study the action of inhaled anesthetics." Simplest Life Form Provides Clues to Anesthetic Actions It is hard to envision a simpler creature than Gloeobacter violaceus, a dark purple cyanobacterium.
Angst could be more than a rite of passage for insecure teenagers, according to a study published in The Journal of Pain. Researchers from the UniversitÃ de MontrÃ al, the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center and McGill University have discovered that insecure adolescents experience more intense pain in the form of frequent headaches, abdominal pain and joint pain. These teens are also more likely to be depressed than peers with secure attachments. Dr. Isabelle Tremblay, a researcher at the UniversitÃ de MontrÃ al and its affiliated Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center, and Dr. Michael Sullivan, a psychology professor at McGill University, launched this study to build on previous findings that childhood experiences play a major role in the relationships people develop in later life. Simply put: insecure infants grow up to be insecure adolescents, and later, insecure adults. "Although previous studies in adults found that an individual's security level was influenced by painful experiences, it was not clear why relationship security should be related to pain, " says Dr.
The successful use of ether to anesthetize patients was the first great milestone in the history of surgical anesthesia. But the discovery might have occurred earlier and medical history written differently but for a scientific error by another physician, according to an article in the January issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). In the new article, Martha E. Stone and colleagues of Harvard Medical School offer an account of Elton Romeo Smilie and his near-miss as the discoverer of ether anesthesia. The article, drawn from research by the historian Richard J. Wolfe, suggests that Smilie might actually have been the first to use ether to anesthetize patients only he didn't realize that ether was the cause of the anesthetic effect. Article Recounts Story of 'Not-Quite Discoverer' of Ether Anesthesia "Few discoveries in medicine have been as revolutionary as the discovery of the anesthetizing properties of ether, " comments Dr.
DURECT Corporation (Nasdaq: DRRX) announced positive results from a 60 patient Phase IIb clinical trial of POSIDUR(TM), a proprietary product under development for the treatment of post-surgical pain. Top line results from this study of patients undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery showed a consistent reduction of pain scores (as measured by mean pain intensity on movement AUC, time normalized under the curve, during the period 0 to 72 hours post-surgery) in parallel with a reduction of opioid use (as measured by the amount of opioids taken in the three days post-surgery) in favor of POSIDUR versus placebo. These reductions were not statistically significant given the size of the study. In addition, there was a comparable safety profile between the two groups in this study and POSIDUR appeared well tolerated. "We are pleased that this study provides a consistent signal of the analgesic effectiveness of POSIDUR in an orthopedic surgical model, " stated James E. Brown, President and CEO of DURECT Corporation.
To most of us the holiday season is all about tradition, fun, and family, but if we're not careful, the holidays can also be a pain in the neck-literally-says the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Typical holiday activities, such as shopping "till you drop, " lifting heavy boxes and presents, and countless hours of cooking and baking, can cause muscles to work harder than usual, many times resulting in neck, shoulder, and back pain. This holiday season APTA recommends taking precautions-from distributing the weight of shopping bags equally on both sides of your body to lifting boxes carefully-in order to keeps aches and injuries at bay. "The added demands of the holidays stresses the body, which may increase the risk of injuries related to the extra activities, " says APTA spokesperson and physical therapist E. Anne Reicherter, PT, DPT, PhD. "Using proper body mechanics can help prevent muscle and joint discomfort this holiday season." Lifting - Test an object's weight before attempting to lift heavy packages or luggage.
Internationally viewed, medical care in Germany for children with cancer is very good as far as survival is concerned. However, other aspects, such as quality of life, pain, and long-term consequences of the disease are still insufficiently investigated in studies. This is the conclusion of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) in its final report published on 16 October 2009. Establish mandatory quality standards Every year in Germany approximately 1800 children under 15 years of age are diagnosed with cancer. In order to provide them with the best possible care, the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) drew up a quality assurance agreement in 2007 (Quality Assurance Agreement on Paediatric Oncology). Its aim is to ensure that hospitals in Germany follow mandatory standards in providing care to children and adolescents with cancer. In order to ensure quality of care in the long term, the G-BA also commissioned IQWiG to present a scientific evaluation of both the current status of the existing infrastructure und the quality of care prior to the agreement.
The Medical College of Georgia is leading an initiative that could result in a paradigm shift in the care of patients with sickle cell disease. Morehouse University School of Medicine and University of Florida are partners in the initiative that is enlisting primary care physicians across Georgia to serve as "medical homes" for patients, changing how patients are treated when a pain crisis sends them to the hospital and seeking better prevention and treatment strategies for the pain and organ damage caused by the genetic disease affecting 1 in 500 blacks in the United States. "This is an exciting opportunity to really take on sickle cell disease from many angles: from ensuring that patients get regular medical care to improving hospital care to dissecting why patients respond to pain and analgesics differently, " said Dr. Abdullah Kutlar, director of the MCG Sickle Cell Center. Drs. Kutlar and Robert W. Gibson, an occupational therapist and medical anthropologist at MCG, are co-principal investigators for the $7 million, five-year grant from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health to support the multifaceted strategy they believe will make a big difference in the lives of patients.
Scientists are adding additional brush strokes to the revolutionary new image now emerging for star-shaped cells called astrocytes in the brain and spinal cord. Their report, which suggests a key role for astrocytes in morphine's ability to relieve pain and cause addiction, appears online in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research, a monthly publication. In the study, Piotr Suder and colleagues point out that nearly everyone viewed astrocytes - the most abundant cells in the brain - as supporting actors in the drama of brain activity. Scientists thought astrocytes simply propped up neurons, nerve cells that transmit signals, and kept them in proper position. Studies during the last several years, however, suggest that these cells are just as their Greek name suggests - stars. The scientists added morphine to a group of astrocytes in cell culture for several days. They found that the morphine-exposed cells showed increased levels of nine proteins that appear to play a role in maintaining the normal function of nerve cells.
A team of Canadian researchers probed 45 pediatric clinicians to learn about possible indicators that could help identify infants with chronic pain and provide guidance on how to differentiate chronic pain from lingering pain caused by medical procedures. At the outset of their study, the authors (representing several Toronto medical centers) noted there is no clear definition for chronic pain in infants and no validated assessment measures. As a result, long-term pain may be inadequately managed in this highly vulnerable population. The purpose of the research, therefore, was to gather and analyze opinions of experienced pediatric clinicians on parameters that could help define and assess chronic pain in infancy. As expected, the interviews revealed wide ranging views on infant pain, but there was strong consensus that infants can experience chronic pain, defined as a pain phenomenon distinct from acute procedural or postoperative pain. However, varying conceptualizations were expressed by the clinicians on how chronic pain can be identified in infants.
For thousands of years it has been prescribed by traditional healers in Brazil to treat a range of ailments from headaches and stomach pain to fever and flu. Now for the first time, researchers at Newcastle University have been able to scientifically prove the pain relieving properties of Hyptis crenata - otherwise known as Brazilian mint. Testing this ancient South American herb on mice, the team led by researcher Graciela Rocha was able to show that when prepared as a 'tea' - the traditional way to administer the medicine - the mint was as effective as a synthetic aspirin-style drug Indometacin. The research was presented at the 2nd International Symposium on Medicinal and Nutraceutical Plants in New Delhi, India, and will appear in the society's journal Acta Horticulturae. Now the Newcastle University team plan to launch clinical trials to find out how effective the mint is as a pain relief for people. Graciela explains: "Since humans first walked the earth we have looked to plants to provide a cure for our ailments - in fact it is estimated more than 50, 000 plants are used worldwide for medicinal purposes.