[Study] Cannabinoids May Treat Neuropathic Symptoms and Neuroinflammatory Responses

What are Cannabinoids

Agonists of the CB2 receptor – such as cannabis-derived cannabinoids – may provide a treatment option for neuropathic symptoms and neuroinflammatory responses, according to a new study published by the European Journal of Neuroscience. The study was e-published ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health. “Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) has emerged as a promising target for treating…

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Athens Teen Struggling with CRPS

Athens Teen Struggling with CRPS

Sydney Jones

Posted by Bobby Shuttleworth, Reporter on Wednesday, November 30th 2016, 5:17 pm CST on WBRC FOX6 News – Birmingham, AL 

ATHENS, AL (WAFF) – Imagine your child being in excruciating pain, and nothing you or her doctors can do will give her relief. That’s what the parents of an Athens High School athlete were dealing with.

Not too long ago, 16-year-old Sydney Jones was in the hospital for some…

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[Study] Cannabinoids May Treat Neuropathic Symptoms and Neuroinflammatory Responses

What are Cannabinoids

Agonists of the CB2 receptor – such as cannabis-derived cannabinoids – may provide a treatment option for neuropathic symptoms and neuroinflammatory responses, according to a new study published by the European Journal of Neuroscience. The study was e-published ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) has emerged as a promising target for treating different neuropathic pain syndromes”, states the study’s abstract. “In neuropathic pain models, activated microglia expressing CB2 receptors are seen in the spinal cord.”

With this in mind, researchers hypothesized that a CB2 agonist could “modulate neuroinflammation and neuropathic pain in an ischemia model of CRPS [complex regional pain syndrome]by regulating CB2 and CX3CR1 signaling.”

Using chronic post-ischemia pain (CPIP) as a model of CRPS, researchers used rats to determine the potential benefits of a selective CB2 agonist meant to mimic the effects of cannabinoids.

Rats in the CPIP group exhibited significant hyperemia and edema of the ischemic hindpaw and spontaneous pain behaviors (hindpaw shaking and licking), whereas “intraperitoneal administration of MDA7 (a selective CB2 agonist) attenuated mechanical allodynia induced by CPIP.”

MDA7 treatment was found to “interfere with early events in the CRPS-I neuroinflammatory response by suppressing peripheral edema, spinal microglial activation and expression of CX3CR1 and CB2 receptors on the microglia in the spinal cord. MDA7 also mitigated the loss of intraepidermal nerve fibers induced by CPIP.”

The study concludes; “Our findings suggest that MDA7, a novel CB2 agonist, may offer an innovative therapeutic approach for treating neuropathic symptoms and neuroinflammatory responses induced by CRPS-I in the setting of ischemia and reperfusion injury.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

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NOTE: Please remember to follow the laws of your state when it comes to your pharmaceutical care. Medical cannabis is not legal in all states in all forms, so be aware of what your state limitations are.

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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Diagnosis using the Budapest Criteria

PainScale

It is complex regional pain syndrome that brings many of us to this site. Many searching for some sort of way to explain where it comes from, what can be done to reverse it, what have medical professionals learned since we were diagnosed. Well medical professionals Konzelmann MDeriaz O, and Luthi F have come together to create an article on the success and utilization of a new diagnosing process. It is called the “Budapest Criteria” which is used to identify complex regional pain syndrome in its earlier stages.

Pain and How the Body Identifies It
Pain and How the Body Identifies It

How does this criteria help those with complex regional pain syndrome

With a successful process to diagnose patients, medical physicians might have a chance to catch patients earlier. And with a solid process this can be targeted and educated to those in the medical fields where doctors might see it most prevalent, emergency rooms and family physicians.

Who did their study focus on?

Their focus was on the partial form of complex regional pain syndrome type one (also known as reflexive sympathetic dystrophy). The specific target was those involving symptoms in only 1-3 fingers, a fairly uncommon occurrence with those with this condition. In the 5 years of their evaluating and observing patients in a rehabilitation ward their results had a fairly solid success rate. They applied this criteria to the evaluation of the radiological exams, the therapeutic results and vocational outcomes of the patients over time.

Of the 132 patients submitted with the diagnosis complex regional pain syndrome, only 16 were met the criteria where it effected only 1-3 fingers. Of these 16 people, 11 were men, 5 women with an average age of 43 years. While reviewing their progress, medical charts and success in therapy, 14 (88%) initially met the Budapest criteria and the other two were verified using a 3 phase bone scan. Now for the majority of the patients, only moderate improvement was made, and at the final follow-up, only 50% had returned to work.

PainScale
The current pain scale rating system used in the United States

What all did they review?

The physicians also compared against literature reviews, which had 19 cases eligible for comparisons. The largest differences is the increased number of male patients in this study, the later diagnosis, and a worse prognosis in the terms of return to work.

With this study and the literature already on file to review, the criteria’s success of diagnosis in 88% of the cases is a very good sign that there is a better chance on the horizon of catching new cases earlier. In turn allowing future patients a better chance of a normal and easier life with RSD than those already diagnosed. It also validated that the three-phase bone scan can only be used in doubtful cases in the first six months of the illness. And thought the partial formation of complex regional pain syndrome type 1 in the hand is rare and the prevalence being unknown. The long-term prognosis, (4 to 9 years) still suggest that earlier diagnosis is beneficial to patients abilities to returning to work.

How do I know this is information is true?

If you would like to read the full article, it can be found here: “Diagnosis of partial complex regional pain syndrome type 1 of the hand: retrospective study of 16 cases and literature review.” BMC Neurol. 2013 Mar 18;13:28. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-13-28.

Where do I find more articles on complex regional pain syndrome?

More articles can be found at the National Institute of Health’s Library.

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Education of the “Healthies”

Education of the "Healthies"

Education of the public may be terrifying because we all have heard the horror stories. People who accuse us of faking for drugs or just over exaggerating. But we continue to run across people who say they want to understand why we hurt and how we hurt. The thing is many of us don’t know how to even describe the severity of what we deal with everyday because it’s been a constant progression of new things added since the beginning.

So what I propose is if someone asks you what exactly you suffer you say that you have a chronic pain condition that leaves you in excruciating pain for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If at this point they seem to think you’re full of it, forget them. But if they seem to be confused or concerned, that is when I explain that the only real sign anyone may have when they first get this, they have excruciating pain that does not fit the injury that they just incurred be it a surgery, a twisted knee, or even just a spider bite.

When I explain it to people I explain the early stages in a way that they can understand. Explaining it like I had an injury that the body that never sent the message to my brain that it healed. So I continue to have the pain so I don’t reinjure the “injury”, the swelling, and a decreased blood flow so that I didn’t bleed out. It was as if my body continued to act to protect me from hurting it any further

Education of the "Healthies"
Could not rotate my feet at the same angle. They felt the same when I wasn’t looking, but this is just one symptom we fight for education of.

As time goes on the pain frequency increases, the severity increases, and the other symptoms continue to advance is well. With continuous swelling and deswelling of the limbs, your muscles start to deteriorate because you can’t bring yourself to use them and when the swelling occurs edema forms causing increased chance of infection. The decreased blood flow causes excruciating pain when the body starts to get blood flow back to a region similar to that when someone who has a leg falling asleep that is just waking up except for us it’s just one capillary or one blood vessel and everything attached to that vessel screams in pain. And since it is not just the entire leg it is not something that feels sane.

Overtime, this repetitive process that happens constantly every month/day/hour starts to wear on persons self esteem, their emotions, their stress level causing them to become depressed, reserved, and not wanting to be in social situations.

Adding in to the factors are the additional symptoms that start to form due to the hypersensitivity of the nerves that failed to transmit this issue in the first place. This makes patients feel even more sensitive to even the movement of air such as a fan, not even blowing on them but in the same room, or the vibrations from the fan, or from riding in a car, or listening to music. Things that were once enjoyable are excruciatingly painful. This is also extremely demoralizing.

You will find the more social or more outgoing patients try to find answers or help find support groups, such as RSD/CRPS Doesn’t Own Me. Those who felt on the edge of society tend to feel more hesitant about talking about their pain even with others who suffer. Slowly making their world smaller and smaller because they feel more and more alone. It is vital for those who are family and friends of patients to reach out to those suffer this and trust in them to tell the truth. Because the pain may seem unreal to those who are healthy, but it seems even more unreal to the patient that this could happen to them.

I hope to inspire everyone to try to keep it simple, try to keep it clear. There is no cure, there is no explanation for the cause, but we hope every day for both. The only thing we can do is make sure that everyone knows the statistics and the defined truths that we do know: that four women to one man have this in the United States, most have genetic ties to Northern Europe, that if caught early there’s a chance for proper treatment and possible remission, but there is no cure, there’s no guarantee it won’t come back, but it is a chance to save another life from dealing with what we deal with everyday. The education of others of the key signs of who is at risk, that there is nothing set in stone, and early recognition of its “ignition.”

Never give up guys, we have so much to give and so much to teach. Not just our friends and family about how vitally important living life to the fullest is, but also educating doctors that sometimes they are not right and sometimes we can also teach them something, and most importantly the strength and conviction of someone who is truly in pain really doesn’t want the drugs for recreational reasons. We just want to have some semblance of our old life back.

Share and make aware! Education is the key!

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