Search Results for: immune

Neuroimmunology for idiots. Part 3: Immune system in neuroplasticity

In this, the oddly named 4th part of this little series, I am trying to get my head around the role of cytokines in facilitating long term potentiation and nurturing neuroplasticity. The key work in this field seems to be this[1] These guys were the first to show that an inflammatory-like process, the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1, … [Read more...]

Neuroimmunology for idiots. Part 2: Immune system in learning & memory – inflammatory cytokines.

The last post discussed the role of T cells and T cell-derived IL-4, an anti-inflammatory cytokine. This post will focus on other inflammatory cytokines, in particular IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-α.  First, IL-1. Well the story is broadly pretty similar to that of T cell-derived IL-4: Take a normal mouse out of its home, put it in a different home, let’s … [Read more...]

Neuroimmunology for dummies. Part 1: Immune system in learning and memory – T cells.

A common way to investigate what role particular biological markers play is to breed (in the loosest sense of the word - ie genetically engineer) an animal that doesn’t have those biomarkers. Mice are the usual suckers.  Mice can be ‘bred’ to have no T cells (T cells are otherwise known as T lymphocytes, white blood cells that are produced … [Read more...]

Body Ownership And The Immune Response

Making a rubber hand appear and feel like it is your real hand may seem like a party trick but its potential to change the immune response could end up more than magic. A group of researchers at Neuroscience Research Australia are inviting you to participate in a new experiment that looks at the effects of changing body ownership. In … [Read more...]

Is CRPS an auto-immune disease

Intravenous Immunoglobulin in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Andreas Goebel on the results of his latest clinical trial .Just imagine the causes of some chronic pains are completely different from what you had thought. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a severe pain which persists after limb trauma. You are unlucky if you develop this nasty … [Read more...]

Search for the Holy Grail for Preventative Analgesia

The opioid epidemic is the largest public health issue facing the United States, and we are at a critical crossroads as pain physicians to find effective alternative medications and approaches for chronic pain. This sharp swing away from opioid prescription has left many patients in the US feeling desperate and helpless. The need for alternative … [Read more...]

Tilting at Trigger Points

In the recent blog post some may feel it is remiss of Fernández-de-las-Peñas not to have at least considered the possibility that the clinical phenomena attributed to the so-called latent TrP (trigger point) could also be explained as arising from sensitised peripheral neural tissue. This concept was suggested nearly 25 years ago [1] and again more … [Read more...]

Talking about endometriosis – part 1

Do you have a female friend or family member who coughs up blood at the time of her period? This rather bizarre occurrence is a very rare, yet documented clinical feature of endometriosis [1]. Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) lodges outside the uterus and induces an estrogen-dependent … [Read more...]

Explain Pain Supercharged is here!

After many years of writing, discussing, researching, washing down toasted ham and cheese croissants with copious amounts of coffee, arguing and testing, Lorimer and I have completed a clinical manual for anyone involved in pain treatment – and after all of it we’re still even talking to each other! We’ve been asked over and over for a book … [Read more...]

Macrophages are key players in pain and analgesia

Macrophages are found in all tissues and are critical to injury and repair. Like neurons, macrophages are plastic and acquire different phenotypes based on the external environment. There are two types of macrophages, M1 which secrete inflammatory cytokines, and M2 which secrete anti-inflammatory cytokines. Inflammatory cytokines activate … [Read more...]