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Physicians focus on stopping pain epidemic
Date:2/16/2008

n right; this concept is now leading to new specific treatments aimed at physical, psychological, and environmental components of this major disease, including genetic predisposition.

In the future, the diagnosis and treatment of persistent pain will be markedly different, continues Cousins. Instead of using drugs that provide only symptomatic relief, such as morphine, new drugs, such as NaV1.8 blockers, will target the disease process.

Persistent pain has a prevalence of 1 in 5 of the population and the Pain Management Research Institute studies reveal an annual cost of $1.85 billion per 1 million population.

Medical specialists have recognized that additional specialist training in pain is needed, says Cousins. Too few pain medicine specialists are being trained, and not enough patients are getting access to effective treatments. Pain management needs to become a fundamental human right: a bundle of initiatives will be needed in medicine, law, ethics, politics, concludes Cousins.

9-10 a.m. Altered Central Nervous System Processing in Chronic Pain, M. Catherine Bushnell, MD

Chronic pain is associated with changes in the brain and can lead to premature aging of the brain, with an accelerated loss of gray matter, Bushnell comments. Similar changes are found in other stress-related disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. She adds that chronic pain patients also have neurochemical changes in the brain.

Many chronic pain patients complain of problems with concentration and memory. These complaints could be related to the structural and chemical changes that appear to take place in the brains of chronic pain patients. Patients should be aware that chronic pain may have an impact on their lives that extends beyond just the direct effects of living with pain, concludes Bushnell.

11 a.m.- noon Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia, Jianren Mao, MD, PhD

Opioid analgesics can increase p
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Contact: Amy Jenkins
amy@jenkinspr.com
312-836-0613
American Academy of Pain Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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