Health and Fitness

Study Assesses Neuropathic Pain Risk For Breast Cancer Patients

Breast cancer patients treated with the chemotherapy drug Taxol (paclitaxel) are more likely to develop chronic neuropathic pain, according to research published in The Journal of Pain, the peer review publication of the American Pain Society. Researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center conducted a survey of breast cancer patients who participated in clinical trials of Taxol from 1994 to 2001. There were 240 respondents. The purpose of the study was to determine the association between chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) and neuropathic pain in breast cancer patients treated with Taxol. The authors noted that few studies have examined the extent to which breast cancer survivors who experience CIPN during chemotherapy go on to develop chronic neuropathic pain. Though survival rates for breast cancer have increased significantly, chemotherapy agents that make survival possible can cause structural damage to peripheral nerves, causing chronic pain from the resulting dysfunction in the nervous system.

Caldolor R Ibuprofen Injection Demonstrates Significant Fever Reduction In Hospitalized Burn Patients

Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( CPIX) announced positive new top-line results from a study evaluating the safety and efficacy of Caldolor ( ibuprofen ) Injection in treating fever in hospitalized burn patients. Statistical significance was achieved for the primary endpoint of reducing fever in burn patients over the first 24 hours of treatment. The study evaluated 61 adult burn patients with second or third degree burns covering more than 10 percent total body surface area. Other participant criteria included an anticipated hospital stay of more than 72 hours and temperatures of 38.0 degrees C (100.4 degrees F) or greater. Patients were administered 800mg of Caldolor every six hours for five consecutive days. The study raised no safety concerns and the medication was well tolerated. There was no difference in adverse effects between patients who received a placebo and those receiving Caldolor. According to the American Burn Association, 1.1 million burn injuries require medical attention each year in the United States.

French Study Is First To Associate Pain Assessment With Improved Outcomes In Mechanically Ventilated ICU Patients

A large study of more than 1, 300 patients has provided evidence that increased attention to pain assessment in mechanically ventilated patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) may improve patient outcomes and lead to shorter ICU stays. According to lead study author Jean-Francois Payen, M.D., Ph.D., of the Hopital Albert Michallon in Grenoble, France, pain assessment and management can often be an underappreciated aspect of care that may improve care during and after an ICU stay. "Despite the existence of clinical scoring systems to quantify pain in verbal and nonverbal patients, routine clinical practice seldom applies them, " said Dr. Payen. "Through the results of our research, though, we demonstrate that pain assessment must be promoted together with sedation measurements to improve patient outcomes." According to Dr. Payen, ICU stays are often uncomfortable experiences that can affect quality of life even after discharge. "Mechanically ventilated critically ill patients may experience stressful, unpleasant and potentially harmful experiences during their time in ICUs, " said Dr.

What Is Cervical Spondylosis? What Causes Cervical Spondylosis?

Cervical spondylosis is a general term for age-related wear and tear affecting the joints in the neck. It is also known as cervical osteoarthritis and degenerative osteoarthritis. This condition usually appears in men and women older than 40 and progresses with age. Men usually develop it at an earlier age than women do. It can lead to episodes of stiffness and neck pain. With age, the bones and cartilage that make up the backbone and neck gradually deteriorate. Sometimes there is formation of irregular bony outgrowths called bone spurs. These changes are characteristic of cervical spondylosis. Even so, many people with signs of cervical spondylosis on X-rays manage to escape the associated symptoms, which include pain, stiffness and muscle spasms. In more serious cases of cervical spondylosis, changes in the structure of bones or joints in the neck can cause nerves to get pinched or compressed. They may also cause them to press against nearby blood vessels. This can temporarily block the flow of blood and lead to more serious symptoms, such as lack of feeling in the hands and legs, a loss of co-ordination and, less commonly, loss of bladder control.

What Is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease CMT ? What Causes Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT), also known as Chacot-Marie-Tooth hereditary neuropathy, peroneal muscular atrophy, and hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy, is a genetic disease of nerves, typically with progressive muscle weakness, particularly the arms and legs. The hallmark feature of CMT is a clear wasting of the distal extremities, especially the peroneal muscle groups in the calves - the patient develops stork legs. In most cases, patients experience weakening of the legs before the arms. Two French neurologists, Jean Charcot (1825-1893), Pierre Marie (1853-1940), and the English physician Howard Henry Tooth (1856-1925) were the first to fully clinically describe the disease; hence the name. Jean Charcot was Sigmund Freud's mentor. According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, peroneal muscular atrophy is: "a generic title for at least three distinct hereditary neuromuscular disorders, all of which share the common features of pes cavis and marked wasting of the more distal portion of the limbs, particularly the peroneal muscle groups (resulting in the characteristic "stork legs").

Severe And Chronic Pain In Multiple Areas Associated With Increased Risk Of Falls In Older Adults

Older adults who reported chronic musculoskeletal pain in two or more locations, higher levels of severe pain, or pain that interfered with daily activities were more likely to experience a fall than adults who did not reports these types of pain, according to a study in the November 25 issue of JAMA. "Falls rank among the 10 leading causes of death in older adults in the United States, resulting in more than $19 billion in health care costs annually. Despite a growing body of scientific evidence supporting associations between a number of risk factors and falls, efforts to translate these findings into effective fall prevention strategies have been limited, " the authors write. Few reports have examined chronic pain as a risk for falls in older adults. "Pain contributes to functional decline and muscle weakness and is associated with mobility limitations that could predispose to falls." Suzanne G. Leveille, Ph.D., R.N., of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and colleagues conducted a study to determine whether chronic musculoskeletal pain is associated with an increased occurrence of falls in older adults.

Could Acetaminophen Ease Psychological Pain?

Headaches and heartaches. Broken bones and broken spirits. Hurting bodies and hurt feelings. We often use the same words to describe physical and mental pain. Over-the-counter pain relieving drugs have long been used to alleviate physical pain, while a host of other medications have been employed in the treatment of depression and anxiety. But is it possible that a common painkiller could serve double duty, easing not just the physical pains of sore joints and headaches, but also the pain of social rejection? A research team led by psychologist C. Nathan DeWall of the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology has uncovered evidence indicating that acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) may blunt social pain. "The idea - that a drug designed to alleviate physical pain should reduce the pain of social rejection - seemed simple and straightforward based on what we know about neural overlap between social and physical pain systems. To my surprise, I couldn't find anyone who had ever tested this idea, " DeWall said.

Chronic Pain Found To Increase Risk Of Falls In Older Adults

Chronic pain is experienced by as many as two out of three older adults. Now, a new study finds that pain may be more hazardous than previously thought, contributing to an increased risk of falls in adults over age 70. The findings appear in the November 25 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). "It's clear that pain is not just a normal part of aging and that pain is often undertreated in older adults, " explains lead author Suzanne Leveille, PhD, RN, who conducted the research while a member of the Division of Primary Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and is currently on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Boston. "Our findings showed that older adults who reported chronic musculoskeletal pain in two or more locations mainly in the joints of the arms and legs as well as individuals who reported more severe pain or pain that interfered with daily activities were more likely to experience a fall than other individuals." Leveille used data gathered as part of MOBILIZE Boston (Maintenance of Balance, Independent Living, Intellect and Zest in the Elderly), a cohort study headquartered at the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife and led by Principal Investigator Lewis Lipsitz, MD.

Athletes Warned Against The Misuse Of NSAIDs

Athletes' superstitions and rituals can help them get psyched up for contests, but when these rituals involve non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which many athletes gobble down before and during events, they could be causing more harm than good. "These agents are treatments for the symptoms of an injury, not the injury itself, " says Stuart Warden, whose research at Indiana University focuses on musculoskeletal health and sports medicine. "They may allow an athlete to exercise or train at a certain level, but pain occurs for a reason. It is basically the body's mechanism of saying, 'Hang on, you've got some sort of injury that should not be ignored.'" NSAIDs are recommended for use after an injury to reduce swelling or pain. Studies have found that many elite athletes, however, take these over-the-counter drugs -- and often several different kinds -- before contests and challenging workouts because they think they will reduce anticipated inflammation and soreness that could occur after the event.

What Are Chilblains? What Causes Chilblains?

Chilblains or chilblain are small, itchy swellings on the skin, which are not painful at first, but can become painful. This inflammation of small blood vessels in the skin is also known as pernio and perniosis. It is a localized form of vasculitis in reaction to sudden warming from cold temperatures. The itching, swelling and blistering red patches are located on extremities, such as toes, fingers, ears and nose. Chilblains usually respond well to treatment and clear up within 14 days. Treatments normally consist of lotions and medication. While it does not usually result in permanent injury, chilblains can lead to severe damage if left untreated. The best approach to chilblains is to avoid developing it by limiting exposure to cold, dressing warmly and covering exposed skin. Chilblains look like red or purple discolored areas of skin. They usually affect the toes, soles of feet and backs of heels, but they can also affect other exposed areas of skin, such as the nose, ears, and the backs and sides of fingers.

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