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National pain research center will bring hope to millions
Date:10/11/2009

remitting pain, but even this is not a solution for everyone. Many osteoarthritis sufferers turn to unproven supplements, but few have been shown to work.

Dr Walsh and his team will use osteoarthritis of the knee as an initial model for their research, although it is expected that their work will help other people with arthritis pain over time.

Osteoarthritis is a complicated condition, and the level of pain experienced by sufferers does not correlate closely to the level of cartilage damage or deterioration as measured by x-ray. Some people whose joints appear to be completely worn away can suffer little pain, while others with no obvious x-ray evidence of disease are in constant severe pain.

Dr Walsh said: "It is well recognised that the experience of osteoarthritic pain involves the interplay between the way that the nerves present in the joint (the peripheral nerves) detect changes in the joint tissues that occur in osteoarthritis, how these nerve signals from the joint are processed by the spinal cord and brain and translated into feelings of pain, and how this is influenced by the way a patient thinks and feels about their pain.

"However, our understanding of the relative contributions of each of these factors to the final experience of pain is incomplete which is our great challenge."

To find out more about the way patients experience pain, people with osteoarthritis in the Nottingham area are being recruited as participants in the team's research. They will be interviewed and asked to complete questionnaires to identify the most important factors that must be targeted to provide the best treatments for pain relief.

Using MRI scans and other imaging techniques the team also hopes to find out how an individual's way of processing pain signals may explain why their experiences of pain do not necessarily match the severity of x-ray changes, and to measure the effects of various drugs on the nerves of the joi
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Contact: Lindsay Brooke
lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
44-115-951-5751
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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