The Scientist Releases Supplement Laying Out Blueprint for Pain Research

(Philadelphia, PA - April 7, 2005) In an era of increased scrutiny on the prescribing of opiates in the United States, the withdrawal of Vioxx - and today Bextra - from the US market, and the growing awareness of the debilitating effects of widespread chronic pain around the world, The Scientist is proud to present a new supplement, Pain, an in-depth look at what's next for pain research and treatment.

According to the National Institutes of Health, 100 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain, costing about $79 billion a year in care and lost work time. Biomedical research is inching ever closer to an understanding of the maddeningly subjective but nearly universal experience. Now, The Scientist offers its unique brand of coverage to call to attention to what has been done and what remains unanswered halfway...

"With the Vioxx withdrawal and the criminal prosecution of pain physicians prescribing opiates, we are at a critical crossroads in pain management," says Richard Gallagher, editor of The Scientist. "It is an important time to rally researchers across disciplines to this pressing biomedical gap."

The supplement features:

  • A call to arms to the research community from Ronald Dubner, who has had a long, illustrious career in pain research spanning years at the National Institutes of Health at the helm of an multidisciplinary team researching pain and as an editor of the journal Pain. "We need a paradigm shift in our approach to the study of the mechanisms and treatment of pain," writes Dubner, now professor and chairman of biomedical sciences at the University of Maryland Dental School. "The fight against cancer might inform such a shift. Just like different cancers, chronic or persistent pain conditions have unique gene and protein profiles."
  • An essay on the cultural history of pain by David B. Morris, an English professor at the University of Virginia who has written several books on the intersection between biomedical science and culture, including The Culture of Pain.
  • Stories on exciting developments in pain research and treatment, from snail venom to marijuana to hypnosis.
  • The story of Shannon Leidig, a musician and choir director with reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Leidig describes the disruption in her life due to intense pains in her legs that started when she was 19 and has never ceased. "It feels like a volcano about to explode 24-7. It never eased up, even with medication. I never have a day without pain," says Leidig, who coordinates Maryland's "Power Over Pain," a public awareness campaign funded by the American Pain Foundation.

With The Scientist's unique blend of expert commentary, journalistic field reporting, and human perspective from both the eyes of the researcher and the patient, the supplement offers a comprehensive view of the field in an engaging style. To view the table of contents, go to

To obtain your own copy of the supplement or to speak with Scientist Editor Richard Gallagher, Senior Editor Brendan Maher, or any of the contributors to this project, contact Marketing Manager Ashok Kailath at (215) 351-1660, ext. 3011, or e-mail

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