Ever since the United States government passed laws governing the prescription of opioid drugs early in the 20th century, doctors and regulators have been engaged in a balancing act, trying to use the drugs to treat pain appropriately while preventing their abuse.
Although pain is highly subjective, understanding the common underlying pathways that form an outline for pain perception holds clues to better control.
Non-human animals have served as valuable models in many types of biomedical investigations, but when it comes to pain, some assumptions are necessary.
Under the suggestive power of hypnosis, subjects can be convinced that they're feeling pain when no stimulus is given.
One Tuesday morning in March 1990, 19-year-old Shannon Leidig, a freshman music therapy major at Virginia's Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music, woke up with a burning, throbbing pain in her right hand.
Culture shapes human pain. Lesions, neurons, neu rotransmitters, and genes may provide a starting point for an exploration of pain's roots in animal models, but among humans, it is our culture as well as our biology that invariably shapes pain.
Bert Myers/Photo Researchers Inc.This past December, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Prialt, Elan Corporation's synthetic version of a peptide from the venomous sea snail Conus magus. The drug, ziconotide, is the first of its kind and appears to alleviate severe pain by blocking N-type Ca+ channels.Ziconotide is designed from one of about 100 pharmacologically active compounds in C. magus. And this undersea combinatorial chemist is only one of approximately 500 Conus species. Resear
When Merck pulled its blockbuster painkiller, Vioxx, from the market on Celebrex and Bextra, Prexige, which is manufactured by Novartis, and Sept. 30, 2004, after a large clinical trial provided evidence that the drug increased the risk of heart attack and stroke, the move cast doubts on the safety of similar Cox-2-specific inhibitors, including Pfizer's another Merck drug, Arcoxia.
Pain is indelibly interwoven into the fabric of human experience.
Ten years ago, pediatric neuroblastoma patients at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), were receiving an experimental anti-body treatment.