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Our Genes Contribute to Our Sensitivity

A recent study, led by researchers at the Queen Mary University of London, looked at the genetic basis behind sensitivity. They compared sensitivity in a sample of 2868 adolescent twins, with 1011 identical twins, 901 same-sex fraternal twins, and 956 opposite sex fraternal twins. Twins raised in the same…

Telemedicine as the New Alternative to In-Person Visits

Sometimes, when special circumstances like we are currently experiencing require, it is best to have minimal personal contact and to use social distancing as much as possible. Doctor’s visits may be minimal or canceled altogether if the visit is considered non-essential, however for those with chronic illnesses this…

How Exercise Improves your Immune System

There are many benefits of exercise on chronic pain. With the recent news of COVID-9, it’s also important to look at the impact of exercise on your immune system. In the past, it was thought that vigorous exercise could harm your immune system. Runners often reported infection symptoms after…

How light can affect your pain

More research is “coming to light” about the effects that light has on our brain. Researchers at the University of Arizona recently studied the effects of green and red LED lights on rats. They found that rats exposed to green light for 8 hours a day for 5…

Sleep Deprivation and Depression

Sleep impacts a number of different physiological, hormonal and chemical processes in the brain. We generally assume that better sleep quality and duration can improve a number of conditions, but many research studies are showing that the relationship between sleep and depression is much more complicated. These studies found…

Pain Biomarkers

What are pain biomarkers and why are they useful to us? Pain biomarkers are useful and measurable indicators that can be used to identify or quantify pain in individuals. There are currently no pain biomarkers approved by the FDA for use in drug trails, so identifying reliable biomarkers…

HEAL: Helping to End Addiction Long-term

Dr. Staud is part of a research initiative at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) named HEAL. HEAL stands for Helping to End Addiction Long-term. It is an initiative designed to speed scientific solutions to cut down on the national opioid public health crisis as quickly as possible.

Acetaminophen May Reduce Empathy

Acetaminophen (like Tylenol) is a popular over the counter pain reliever and research shows it can dull more than just pain. Acetaminophen reduces activity in parts of the brain related to both physical and emotional pain. These same brain areas also play a role in positive empathy, which…

High Pain Sensitivity

Many factors like trauma, stress, infections, can increase your pain sensitivity. Patients with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia (FM) have greater sensitivity to pain. This abnormal pain sensitivity can come in different forms, including hyperalgesia and allodynia. Hyperalgesia describes the increased sensitivity to painful stimuli while allodynia is…

Losing Sleep Can Hurt

It is well known that sleep and pain have a very strong relationship. Researchers recently set out to try to find out what mechanisms in your brain cause your pain sensitivity to increase after you lose sleep. Using a sleep-lab, they found that just one night of sleep deprivation…