Sunday, January 02, 2005

Discussion at International Symposium – Infrared Scanners Used to Study the Sympathetic Nervous System

While this development is not all that new, it could lead to better diagnosis and treatment of RSD.

"The profound effects of sympathetic nervous system function on human physiology were emphasized at the most recent interprofessional symposium of the American Chiropractic College of Thermology (ACCT)...

Patients in pain find it very difficult and disappointing to be told that doctors can find nothing wrong with them. In many cases, however, these doctors have only examined two-thirds of the possibilities concerned with the nervous system, completely omitting evaluation of sympathetic nervous system function. Infrared imaging helps to fill that examination void, a void which is truly gaping, considering the profound effect that the sympathetic nervous system has in responding to pain states.

Even more startling to symposium attendees, however, was Mr. Bales' development and demonstration of a therapeutic infrared emitter designed to provide photonic stimulation to the sympathetic nervous system. Photonic stimulation has recently come to the attention of the scientific community because certain energy wavelengths have been shown to have distinct physiologic effects on cells. The research, concentrating originally on various laser wavelengths, has more recently included infrared wavelengths, which appear to have an effect on polarization of nerve fibers. In a stunning implication for clinical patient management, the effect of photonic stimulation on sympathetic nervous system function was evaluated contemporaneously via high resolution infrared imaging as the treatment was actually being rendered. The photon stimulation produced obvious and immediate changes in sympathetic nervous system function as monitored via infrared imaging. Sites, duration and cessation of photon emission treatment were all determined via infrared imaging...."

Read entire article

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Friday, December 31, 2004

Chronic Pain May Have Genetic Link

"Some people feel chronic pain, while others don't register it. But don't call the sufferers wimps. The hurt, it turns out, is not in their heads. It's in their genes." Read more....

An interesting finding that explains why some are more suseptible to pain than others. However, the findings seem more relevant to explained chronic pain than to RSD.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

New Treatment for Severe Chronic Pain Approved by the FDA

Prialt (ziconotide) has been approved for use in specific intrathecal infusion devices. Prialt is part of a new class known as N-type calcium channel blockers - they are believed to block these channels on nerves that ordinarily transmit pain signals. It is known chemically as ziconotide.

Prialt is the synthetic equivalent of a naturally occurring conopeptide found in a marine snail known as Conus magus.

In studies, it was showned to be effective in many patients for whom morphine had ceased to work.

There are side effects, and the FDA was including a "black box'' warning - the government's strongest warning short of a ban. Side effects may include dizziness, drowsiness and altered mental status, with patients confused at times.

Despite the side effects, the drug was approved because there are no other options for these patients and the benefits outweighed the risks, said Dr. Robert Meyer, director of the FDA's Office of Drug Evaluation II.

Prialt should be available in January.

Article -
Elan Receives FDA Approval for PRIALT -Ziconotide Intrathecal Infusion- for Severe Chronic Pain

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Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Recent studies have shown that opioid addiction amongst chronic pain suffers is far less common than it was once believed to be. However, undertreated pain can cause addictive like behaviors. This is known as Pseudoaddiction. Once a patient is mislabeled as an addict, his or her treatment often suffers.

Appropriate clinical responses are suggested here, as well as a diagnostic approach prioritizing recognition of undertreated pain.

"Continuing misinterpretation of behaviors resulting from undertreatment of pain, despite long-term awareness of the pseudoaddiction phenomenon, can reasonably be characterized as aberrant drug-related behavior on the part of the medical profession....The diagnosis of opioid addiction should be based on observation of deteriorating function, which can be directly attributed to opioid abuse, rather than inferred from an anecdotal set of behavioral criteria derived from medical folklore."

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Monday, December 27, 2004

Nerve Pain Going Untreated

Most people do not know the symptoms of neuorpathic pain, but getting the word out is important. Yes, nerve pain can be difficult to treat, but with the right combination of therapies, the vast majority find relief. Early detection is important to prevent worsening of the symptoms, particularly in RSD where, if left untreated or undertreated, the condition can progress to farther stages and/or spread to other areas of the body.

" estimated 15 million people in the U.S. and Europe (are) believed to be affected by neuropathic pain, or nerve pain -- a chronic condition with symptoms like numbness, stabbing, burning, and tingling, usually in the feet, legs and hands.Yet a new survey by the American Chronic Pain Association shows only six percent of Americans know these symptoms as nerve pain." Article - Chronic Pain Often Goes undiagnosed.

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Pain Shrinks the Brian

A new study finds that chronic pain can shrink the brain as much as the equivalant to 20 years of aging. The study specifically studied the MRIs of back pain sufferers, but this could open the door to more research. Also it specifically studied neve pain, so it may have implications in RSD research. This is yet more evidence that pain is very real, and has real physical consequeces. Read the article.

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We'd love to have you!

Hi. My name is Christy and I am the manager of RSD Won't Bring Me Down my assistant manager and more appreciated than she will ever know. We are on a mission to find RSD sufferers and encourage them to join our support group where they will be able to talk with other RSDers about everything from diagnosis, pain, treatments, and just their overall feelings on living with a chronic illness.

I am 28 years old and RSD has taken my life as I knew it from me. I am not able to work, care for my children fully, clean my house, or finish the 6 months that I have left of nursing school. I am at such a point, that I have no idea what my future will hold. Before this, I thought I had everything pretty much figured out as far as the life path goes and now, just as I was too embark on that lifelong journey, I have been thrown for a loop and searching for new horizons.

My left leg is affected and I suffer daily from deep, bone ache, burning all throughout my leg, muscle weakness, and fatigue. I live my life transferring from my bed to my recliner. Anytime I dare to venture out for awhile, I am left in bed recovering for days afterward. This has not only affected me, it has affected my entire family and friends. They are now left to wonder about a disease that they don't understand and find it hard to, when on the outside I look healthy. Our group is also open to those family members, friends, and loved ones that are interested in learning about this disease and supporting others that are living it.

Please if you or anyone you know of, suffers from this debilitating disease please recommend our online support group to them which offers RSD information, pictures, support from other's suffering, and also a daily chat. Our goal is to help, inform and offer support to as many people as possible, on what exactly this disease can do to one's life. Thank you!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

High and Low Dose Ketamine Therapy

Welcome back! If you at are at all familiar with RSD, you know open the common treatments for it (medications, nerve blocks, etc.).

Something that’s had considerable focus given to it lately in the treatment of RSD is ketamine Therapy. There are both high and low dose ketamine therapy.

For one, the dose is so high, that it induces a comma-like state in the patient for several days. It is quite risky, but it is said, however, that many are then put into remission. For more on this therapy, click here.

There is another, less drastic option called low dose ketamine therapy. The patient stays awake the entire time, though he/she may feel a bit strange. In one study 76% of patients experienced total pain relief, and 54% of those were still pain free after three month. To read more on this study, click here.

If you would like to discuss these treatments or just get some support from caring people, please join us at RSD Won't Bring Me Down. We’d love to have you!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

A brief introduction to RSD

Hello, I’m your grateful host, AndiButterfly, also the assistant manager of the RSD support group, RSD Won’t Bring Me Down.

First of all, I’ll give a brief description of RSD/CRPS. RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), also known as CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), is a progressive disease of the Autonomic Nervous System that can follow a simple trauma (fall or sprain) a break or fracture (especially wrist and ankle) a sharp force injury (such as a knife or bullet wound), heart problems, infections, surgery, spinal injuries/disorders, or major trauma.

It is a multi-symptom condition affecting one, two, or sometimes even all four of the extremities. It can also be in the face, shoulders, back, eyes, and other areas as well. RSD can include an involvement of nerves, skin, muscles, blood vessels (causing constriction and pain) as well as bones.

It may spread from one part of the body to another regardless of where the original injury occurred; RSD can spread in up to 70% of the cases.

What does it feel like? For me, the best way to describe it is three ways – burning, stabbing, and aching pain. The aching is like a deep, deep “bone” ache. The stabbing is a rather sharp pain. I have thought of a good analogy to describe the burning…Imagine you’ve been sitting on your foot for some time and it’s fallen asleep and gone numb. Now you let your foot go, and the feeling begins to rush back. It hurts, burns, tingles, etc. Imagine this multiplied and that’s the best way I know of to describe the burning pain of RSD. The burning and aching are constant for me, and the stabbing is not.

I’ll keep you up to date on chronic pain and it’s treatments in the news and also on my adventures. Thanks for reading, and please return!

Also, please be sure, to visit with our online support group, RSD Won’t Bring Me Down, a great place to give and receive support, share your story, and most of all to know that you are never alone.