Sunday, November 24, 2013
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
The results indicate that congenitally blind people are more attentive and more sensitive to external threats — suggesting their brains are "rewired" by their disability. The study is being published in the journal PAIN.
"We have shown that the absence of vision from birth induces a hypersensitivity to painful stimuli, lending new support to a model of sensory integration of vision and pain processing," says lead investigator Ron Kupers, Director of the BRAINlab, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
The findings are important because a key biological function of acute pain is to prevent bodily injury. Vision plays a critical role, as it allows a person to immediately detect and avoid potentially hazardous situations.
Previous studies conducted in sighted individuals had already demonstrated the link between vision and pain perception. The research team hypothesized that the absence of visual cues may lead to heightened vigilance for painful stimuli.
Investigators recruited 11 congenitally blind and 15 sighted participants from Italy and a second group of 18 congenitally blind and 18 sighted participants from Denmark.
Researchers used thermal probes on the forearms of each participant to measure their thresholds for pain. The congenitally blind participants were allowed to touch the equipment beforehand and received verbal descriptions to reduce any anxiety. Sighted subjects were blindfolded during the actual testing.
Participants pushed a button whenever the thermal probe was hot or cold enough to cause pain. They also completed a questionnaire on their vigilance and awareness of pain.
The study team found that compared with sighted subjects, congenitally blind people had lower thresholds for pain caused by heat, rated heat pain as more painful, and had increased sensitivity to cold pain.
"The novel finding of pain hypersensitivity in blindness has several important implications for both basic and clinical science," said Flavia Mancini, PhD, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College in London.
"This study is noteworthy for research on multisensory interactions and plasticity, because it shows a strong link between vision and pain. The next step is to understand the nature of the interaction between visual loss and pain sensitivity. Which aspect of pain processing is involved in the interplay with vision, and what is its neural basis? The hope is that this work will open the door to pain investigations into the world of sensory loss, left unexplained for too long."
Interesting cultural differences also emerged from the study. People in Italy were found to be more emotionally expressive and responsive to pain than people in Denmark.
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
The PaPaS Review Group was registered with the Collaboration on the 28th January 1998. Exploratory meetings for the PaPaS Review Group were held on the 3rd of June 1996 (Oxford) and the 22nd of June 1997 (Boston). Mr Phil Wiffen was involved in the set-up of the PaPaS Review Group and held the post as Co-ordinating Editor until March 2008 when he stepped down to become an Editor for PaPaS. Chris Eccleston, one of our long standing Editors, then took up the post as Co-ordinating Editor in April 2008.
We are interested in studies of interventions for
The Cochrane Back Review Group (CBRG) is one of 53 international Review Groups. The CBRG coordinates the publication of literature reviews of diagnosis, primary and secondary prevention and treatment of neck and back pain and other spinal disorders, excluding inflammatory diseases and fractures.
The CBRG is hosted by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) in Toronto, Canada. The Institute for Work & Health is an independent, not-for-profit organization. Its mission is to conduct and share research that protects and improves the health of working people and is valued by policy-makers, workers and workplaces, clinicians, and health & safety professionals.
The Cochrane Collaboration, established in 1993, is an international network of more than 28,000 dedicated people from over 100 countries. The Collaboration works together to help health care providers, policy makers, patients and their advocates and caregivers, make well-informed decisions about health care, based on the best available research evidence, by preparing, updating and promoting the accessibility of Cochrane Reviews.
Cochrane Reviews are systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy, and are internationally recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based health care. They investigate the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. They also assess the accuracy of a diagnostic test for a given condition in a specific patient group and setting. Cochrane Reviews are published online in The Cochrane Library.http://back.cochrane.org/