Category Archives: Treatments and Therapies

Placebos and Pain

According to a study published in PAIN, the Medical Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain on October 13, 2016, placebos can produce real benefits beyond the psychological trick placebos are known for creating.

Research revealed that the pain medication group experienced a nine percent reduction in usual pain, a sixteen percent reduction in maximum pain, and no reduction in disability.

Research also revealed that the placebo group experienced a thirty percent reduction in both usual and maximum pain, and twenty-nine percent reduction in disability.

The study results arrive at the same conclusion as a similar study published two years ago that also studied the effects of placebos on pain reduction and disability.

http://journals.lww.com/pain/Abstract/publishahead/Open_label_placebo_treatment_in_chronic_low_back.99404.aspx

SUGGESTED READING

http://journals.lww.com/pain/Abstract/2015/12000/Increasing_placebo_responses_over_time_in_U_S_.27.aspx

http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002570

http://www.neurology.org/content/early/2015/01/28/WNL.0000000000001282

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2010/12/22/the-power-of-placebos/

https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-placebo-effect/

What You Might Not Know About Measles

Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles medical school have determined that children who have recovered from measles as children may suffer from a fatal incurable complication years later.

Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) remains dormant in the brain and once reawakened, it can lead to seizures, coma, and death.  The complication affects 1 in 600 people who suffered from measles as children.

Fears that the MMR vaccine causes autism despite many medical studies proving the MMR vaccine does not cause autism has resulted in nearly 9 million children in the U.S. not being fully vaccinated against measles.  This leaves them at risk of contracting measles, and of possibly suffering from SSPE several years later.

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/fatal-measles-complication-killed-patients-years-later-n674706

Safe Tracking And Interaction

According to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, a new study involving 200 dementia sufferers in Norway has confirmed that the use of GPS devices to track patients not only increases physical activity levels but also leads to a calmer disposition among patients.

The study began as a project involving five municipalities and 50 patients suffering from dementia, and expanded in 2015 to include 18 municipalities and 200 patients suffering from dementia or cognitive dysfunction.  The initiative is called “Trygge Spor og Samspill” (Safe Tracking and Interaction).

Results show that by using a GPS device, patients who choose to venture outside of medical facilities where they are living are calm and have a sense of control over their lives.  If they fail to return, the GPS devices make it easy to find and return the missing patient.

Advancements In Sight Therapies

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed visual simulations of images retinal implants will mostly likely produce for those benefitting from the sight recovery technology therapies.  Lead author, associate professor of psychology, Ione Fine, added that the information from the study answers many questions about the invasive and expensive surgery for those who choose to opt for restoration surgery.

The research findings were published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, “Philosophical Transactions B.”

NOTE: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A focuses on Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences while Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B focuses on Biological Sciences.

The surgery is thought to be a possible option for those suffering from macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa where the retina is left relatively intact despite the loss of rods and cones.  However, co-author, psychology professor Geoffrey Boynton clarified that the sight produced from this medical advancement will not produce normal vision specifically because of how cells traditionally respond to actual visual input.

http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/370/1677/20140208