The mystery of chronic pain

Posts Tagged ‘clinical negligence’

The mystery of chronic pain

Posted on: May 19th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

The mystery of chronic pain

Why do some people develop chronic pain following an injury while others do not?

The question has remained a mystery to both doctors and scientists.

Chronic pain affects millions of people.  People who suffer from severe, chronic pain know only too well how it can utterly disrupt and damage day-to-day life. Pain can make it a challenge to get through each day let alone to enjoy even the simplest daily activities.

Chronic pain has historically been misunderstood. The medical profession used to believe that pain could only be a manifestation of an underlying injury or disease. As such, doctors focused on treating the underlying cause of the pain, with the belief that once the injury or disease was cured the chronic pain would then disappear.

If no underlying cause could be found for the pain, then the patient was often told that, “the pain must be in your head”. Unfortunately, some doctors still practice in this manner, having no appreciation for the unique difficulties experienced by sufferers of chronic pain.

A new study led by researchers at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has revealed that the risk of a patient developing  chronic pain is determined by the brains anatomical properties, and not the initial injury.

“While simple, the logic of addressing problems at the site of an injury to remove pain has resulted in only limited success,” said senior study author Marwan Baliki, PhD, research scientist at RIC and an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Feinberg. “The central processes of chronic pain have largely been ignored, so our research team set out to better understand the brain’s role.”

The researchers found that patients who developed chronic pain had a smaller hippocampus and amygdala compared with those who recovered. The hippocampus is the primary brain region involved in memory formation and retention, while the amygdala is involved in the processing of emotions and fear. In addition to changes in size, these regions also showed differences in connections to the rest of the brain, particularly to the frontal cortex, an area involved in judgment.

The study’s results challenge long-standing views of the science of pain, establishing that the gross anatomical properties of the brain determine the most risk for developing chronic pain.

The results pave the way for the development of a different approach for the prevention and treatment of chronic pain.

The full study, “Corticolimbic anatomical characteristics predetermine risk for chronic pain,” will be published in the June edition of Brain. In addition to Apkarian, Baliki and Vachon-Presseau, study authors include Pascal Tétreault, Bogdan Petre, Lejian Huang, Sara E. Berger, Souraya Torbey, Alexis T. Baria, Ali R.Mansour, Javeria A. Hashmi, James W. Griffith, Erika Comasco, and Thomas J. Schnitzer.

More: http://www.pharmiweb.com/PressReleases/pressrel.asp?ROW_ID=167888#.Vz2KU9L2ZMg#ixzz4961Bq7CF

Axium™ Neurostimulator

Posted on: April 12th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

St. Jude Medical Axium™ Neurostimulator Stimulator launched

On 11th April 2016 St. Jude Medical, Inc., a global medical device company, announced the U.S. launch and first post-approval implants of the St. Jude Medical Axium™ Neurostimulator System.

The treatment for patients with chronic pain involves dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation. it is hoped that the treatment will help patients who have not been receptive to traditional spinal cord stimulation (SCS).

The first commercial implants of the St. Jude Medical Axium™ Neurostimulator System device have taken place at the Centre for Pain Relief in Charleston, and at the Sutter Santa Rosa Surgery and Endoscopy Centre in Santa Rosa, California.

 

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(Photo: Business Wire)

Half of the states in the USA will treat patients using the  DRG implants in the coming weeks.

St. Jude Medical has partnered with 59 implanting chronic pain specialist centres across the country. They hope to conduct more than 100 procedures in the first month.

They aim to train more than 300 physicians to effectively deliver DRG therapy to patients over the next year.

The treatment is designed for patients in immediate need of targeted stimulation to alleviate chronic pain resulting from moderate to severe chronic intractable pain of the lower limbs in adult patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) types I and II.

Stimulation of the DRG, a spinal structure densely populated with sensory nerves that transmit information to the brain via the spinal cord, allows physicians to treat the specific areas of the body where pain occurs. This new approach is designed exclusively to treat moderate to severe chronic intractable pain of the lower limbs in adult patients with CRPS.

Dr Pope, who has already performed the procedure says that, “Stimulation of the dorsal root ganglion is the first therapy option designed specifically for patients suffering from complex regional pain syndromes. This serious and traditionally challenging to treat chronic pain condition can occur from complications to recovery from surgeries such as knee arthroscopy, foot surgery or hernia surgery. Having a treatment option rooted in clinical evidence fundamentally changes our approach to treating patients.”

The Institute of Medicine reports that chronic pain affects more than 100 million Americans. This is more than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. Neuropathic pain represents one of the most prevalent yet under-treated forms of chronic pain in the United States.

Initial results evaluating patients suffering from neuropathic chronic intractable pain associated with CRPS I and II or peripheral causalgia (PC), showed DRG stimulation provided patients with superior pain relief over traditional tonic SCS.

Information for patients to learn more about chronic pain can be found at www.sjm.com/pain.

View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160411005397/en/

If you are suffering from chronic pain syndrome as a result of an accident or someone else’s negligence call our experts on 01285 654875.

 

Cerebral Palsy

Posted on: April 1st, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Cerebral Palsy is a broad term for a number of neurological conditions. These tend to affect movement and co-ordination. It may also affect other important functions such as communication, hearing, vision and the ability to learn.

Cerebral Palsy can feel like a devastating diagnosis but it covers a wide spectrum of difficulties.

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you believe this may be due to some one else’s negligence, you may want to take legal advice.

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It was thought that cerebral palsy was predominantly caused by a child being deprived of oxygen (asphyxiation) during birth. A major research project carried out in the 1980s showed that only 9% of cases were caused by asphyxiation.

One of the most common types of brain damage caused by oxygen loss is called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). HIE can result in severe developmental or cognitive impairments. These become evident as a child develops.

In the remaining 91% of cases it was found that the cerebral palsy was due to problems with the brain that developed before the child was born. Other factors included premature birth, complications of birth or problems immediately following birth. In some cases, cause cannot be definitively determined.

There are three main problems that can affect the brain before birth causing cerebral palsy. The first is Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL). It is believed that the damage to the brain caused by PVL is due to a lack of oxygen. It is not clear why it occurs. It has been linked to infections caught by the mother and to premature births of 32 weeks or earlier.

The second problem is abnormal brain development. If the brain doesn’t develop normally then this can result in cerebral palsy. While in the womb, brain development can be affected by gene mutations, infections caught by the mother and trauma or injury to the unborn baby’s head.

The final problem is intracranial haemorrhage and stroke. A stroke usually occurs when a blockage forms cutting off the blood supply to the brain. This is known as an ischemic stroke.  It can occur due to bleeding in the brain. Called a haemorrhagic stroke.  These result in the damage of brain tissue and result in cerebral palsy. The risk of stroke increases if the mother catches an infection during pregnancy, has high blood pressure, or the baby is born prematurely.

These are the main problems which result in cerebral palsy. There may be no obvious single cause but a culmination of several factors which increase the risk of the development of cerebral palsy.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy tend to become apparent within the child’s first three years. For instance the child may be slower in achieving important developmental milestones such as crawling, walking and talking.

Due to the nature of brain injuries the symptoms of cerebral palsy differ drastically. No two individuals with cerebral palsy have identical symptoms. Some individuals are only mildly affected. Others can be severely disabled.

There are many common symptoms such as:

  • communication problems
  • learning difficulties (although intelligence is often unaffected
  • Cognitive deficits, epilepsy (up to a third of children)
  • hearing loss (only 8% of children)
  • behavioural problems (one in four children)
  • drooling: and,
  • swallowing difficulties.

This is by no means an exhaustive list.

Talk to us if your child has been diagnosed as suffering from cerebral palsy.  Whether the negligence was by those looking after you and your unborn baby or those who delivered your baby, there may be a claim.

Your child’s claim can be pursued at any time before they reach the age of 21. And beyond in some exceptional circumstances. It is always worth seeking advice.

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