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Can Chronic Pain Changes be Reversed?

Neuroplasticity refers to the nervous system’s ability to change its structure and function. The brain’s ability to reorganize itself has been demonstrated many times including when it is recovering from a stroke or from a traumatic injury.  What are neuroplasticity’s implications for pain? Recent neuroplasticity studies have shown that…

Is Marijuana Effective for Chronic Pain?

Ever since medical marijuana, or cannabis, became legal in some states (but not in Florida), there have been qualms about its use in chronic pain patients. However, it may only be a matter of time until medical marijuana becomes legal in the state of Florida. But, is cannabis an effective…

Are Body Weight and Lack of Physical Activity Risk Factors for Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain condition primarily characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain. Other symptoms include stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, fatigue, sleep disturbances, cognitive difficulty, and mood disturbance. The condition is more common among women than men and the prevalence of the disease increases with age. Despite everything we…

Are Some People Born to Run?

We’ve all heard the same piece of advice at some point or another; diet and exercise is the key to good health. But what if some of us are genetically predisposed to being more physically active, more motivated to exercise? What if genes are to blame for…

Can Animals, like Humans, Learn Socially?

Or is animal behavior determined only by genes and individual learning?  In a groundbreaking study published in the journal Science [340:483-5(2013)], researchers showed that when Vervet monkeys roam, they behave in socially adaptive fashion. Wild Vervet monkeys, trained to eat only pink-dyed or blue-dyed corn and shun the other…

Brain Scanning of Pain

Accurate and reliable pain measurements have always been relevant for pain research and clinical practice. One of the most widely accepted ways to measure pain is  visual analogue scales (VAS).  Patients are asked to match the length of a line with their pain intensity. Although simple and effective, researchers…

Is Recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Possible?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a multifaceted and complex condition characterized by debilitating fatigue, impairments in concentration, and musculoskeletal pain. About 5 years ago, the UK government issued funding for a large scale study investigating the efficacy and safety of various treatments for ME/CFS, known as the PACE trial.

Is Alcohol Consumption Associated With Less Fibromyalgia Symptoms?

We’ve known for years that drinking a couple glasses of red wine a week can decrease our risk of heart disease, stroke, and may even reduce our risk for diabetes. But it now looks like that same glass of wine has similar effects on Fibromyalgia (FM) symptoms. A recent study…