The Handoff: Your Week in Pain News – 2/3/17

The Handoff is a weekly roundup of news related to pain management covering developments in clinical research, pharmaceuticals, guidelines for pain management, as well as initiatives to address the opioid epidemic, and technologies for pain. Keep your finger on the pulse of pain research with The Handoff.

General News

Selective activation of Cannabinoid Receptor 2 provides analgesia for chronic inflammatory pain with limited addictive potential, according to research published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The analgesic effect of opioids is not just mediated through opioid receptors on neurons, as new research suggests leukocytes are also implicated.

Even acute and moderate exercise may positively impact some chronic conditions by lowering inflammation.

Plasma levels of a gut microbiota metabolite could predict risk of cardiovascular event in patients presenting to the ER with chest pain.

Women suffering from breast cancer may benefit from internet-based tele-rehabilitation to alleviate disease- and treatment-related adverse effects, including pain.

Palliative care is beneficial to recipients of bone marrow transplant, according to NIH study.

Opioid epidemic

A signaling protein that regulates µ-opioid receptor function “positively regulates the rewarding effects of oxycodone in pain-free states, and in a model of neuropathic pain.” The finding has implications for the development of non-addictive opioid-based analgesics.

The Quality Improvement Committee of the Washington Health Alliance (Alliance) and The Dr. Robert Bree Collaborative urge healthcare professionals to fight the opioid epidemic by modifying their prescribing practices to lower the number of patients they start on an opioid regimen for acute and mild-to-moderate pain.

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act signed in January by former President Obama contains a provision stating that “the Secretary of Defense shall study the feasibility, the effectiveness in preventing the diversion of opioid medications.”

Technology for Pain

Nuvecta’s Algovita® won the 2017 New Product Innovation Award for its spinal cord stimulation device for the management of chronic pain.