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Health & Chronic Pain News April 23-29

Lessons from patients using social media to influence the course of medical research – In Canada, over 500 Facebook fan pages, groups, and events were created to support an Italian surgeons theory on the cause of multiple sclerosis. The theory, that a vein widening procedure  called venoplasty could cure or treat MS, was not supported by MS experts or proven by any scientific studies. However, the public’s interest in this research represents an unprecedented shift – social media now makes it possible for patients to learn about treatments they never would have had exposure to in the past. This is both good and bad, and means that patients must take the initiative to research new treatments. This also shows that in this new era of communication, the old ways of teaching the public about medical research (press releases, reports) will not be as effective. Scientists and medical professionals need to engage in social media, too.  Source.

Certain anti-depressants less effective when taken with OTC pain medications – Recent studies show that a class of medications known as SSRIs or serotonin reuptake inhibitors are less effective when taken with many over-the-counter pain remedies that include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naprosyn. Researchers admit it is too early to draw any firm conclusions, but it may impact the way chronic pain is managed in the future. Source.

Ginkgo Biloba reduces inflammatory pain in rats. The study concluded that injecting ginkgo biloba into either the spine or the local area produced a similar anti-inflammatory response to pharmaceutical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) currently on the market. Researchers haven’t fully connected how ginkgo biloba works in the body or seen any potential risk factors and do see significant potential in treating inflammatory pain in the future. Source.

Depression under reported & under treated in the primary care setting – In a guest post on Kevin MD’s blog, Steve Wilkins expresses his concern, estimating that 4 out of every 10 patients waiting to be seen suffer from mild-to-moderate depression. He further goes on to say that less than 50% of patients in the primary care setting are properly diagnosed and treated, as doctors are more comfortable with the biomedical aspects of care, rather than the psychosocial ones. Source.

100 year retrospective of milestones in migraine research & treatment published – Scientists from the Danish Headache Centre at University of Copenhagen have compiled a 100 year retrospective of the defining milestones in migraine research and treatment. Source.

Do you have any news to share, or comments about this week’s developments? Let us know in the comments below!

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