Weight loss correlates with improved function in osteoarthritis | Stress echo appropriate for ED diagnosis of patients with chest pain | Novel ketamine guidelines issued for acute pain management
June 20, 2018
News for the pain professional
Pain Research News
Weight loss correlates with improved function in osteoarthritis
Patients who are overweight and have knee osteoarthritis can significantly reduce pain levels and improve function by reducing their weight by 20% or more, according to a study published in Arthritis Care & Research. Previous research has shown that a 10% reduction in weight improves pain and mobility in osteoarthritis patients, and the new study showed that losing more weight resulted in less discomfort, better overall function and ability to walk, improvements in physical and mental health-related quality of life, and improvements in joint compression force and levels of IL-6, an inflammatory marker.
HealthDay News (6/18) 
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Stress echo appropriate for ED diagnosis of patients with chest pain
Stress echocardiography is safe for emergency department diagnosis of patients with acute chest pain, no known coronary artery disease and negative initial serum troponin levels, according to a study published online before print in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. Stress echo is associated with shorter hospital stays, less time in the emergency department, fewer hospitalizations and lower radiation exposure than coronary CT angiography, and the modalities have similar incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events at a median 24 months' follow-up.
TCTMD (6/14) 
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Treatment News
Novel ketamine guidelines issued for acute pain management
Researchers suggest that intravenous ketamine be used to treat acute pain, either as a sole treatment or as an opioid adjunct. Novel guidelines initiated by the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine along with the American Academy of Pain Medicine suggest that subanesthetic ketamine infusions be used for painful surgery, including for patients with opioid dependence or tolerance.
Medscape (free registration) (6/15) 
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Teva Pharmaceutical halts cluster-headache medication tests
Teva Pharmaceutical recently announced that it would stop testing fremanezumab, which is used to treat cluster headches, due to inefficacy of the drug in clinical trials. The drug is being reviewed by the FDA for the prevention of migraine headaches.
Reuters (6/15) 
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Other News
Policy & Trends
Schools face challenges amid opioid crisis
Educators and counselors in schools nationwide are being called upon to help students affected by the opioid epidemic, even though education funding has been cut and there are fewer counselors to respond to the demand. "I think we expect [...] schools to handle everything. ... Well, they can't do it all," said Chad Napier, prevention and education coordinator for the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area in West Virginia and Virginia.
Politico (6/18) 
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Palliative care physician: Some patients' families reject pain drugs
Public confusion over abuse of pain medications and illicit drugs is causing some families and patients to turn down opioid drugs such as fentanyl, said palliative care physician Romayne Gallagher. "When you're hearing constantly in the news about people dying on the street and it appears they're dying from the very same drugs your doctor wants to give you, it's not surprising people were and continue to be confused about these medications," she said.
CTV (Canada) (6/8) 
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Health Canada moves to classify tramadol as controlled substance
Health Canada plans to list the drug tramadol, which is metabolized by the liver into opioid compounds, as a Schedule I narcotic. The decision was based on a 2018 evidence report on tramadol's potential for problematic use, dependence and addiction.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (6/18) 
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APS News
APS Future Leaders in Pain Research grant program
Funded by the Mayday Fund, this grant program funds pain research projects in basic science and translational research of doctoral-prepared investigators who have not yet attained NIH RO1-level funding. Learn more.
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Present your research at the 2019 APS Meeting
The APS Scientific Program Committee invites you to submit your original research for presentation at the 2019 Scientific Meeting, April 3-6, 2019, in Milwaukee, Wis. Submissions for presentations should reflect APS's multidisciplinary approach to pain and align with the theme "Combating the Opioid Epidemic through Innovations in the Treatment of Pain." Learn more.
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It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little.
Sydney Smith,
clergyman and writer
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