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Antidepressant Cymbalta Might Ease Chemo-Linked Pain

Posted 4 Jun 2012 by

MONDAY, June 4 – Cancer patients on certain chemotherapies often experience a painful tingling in their extremities called peripheral neuropathy, and a new study suggests the antidepressant Cymbalta may be the first treatment to work against the condition. In the small study, 59 percent of patients who'd experienced peripheral neuropathy said that they gained relief after taking Cymbalta (duloxetine), compared to 39 percent who took a "dummy" pill. Taking Cymbalta daily "decreases chronic chemotherapy-induced neuropathy and pain severity in the majority of patients who take it and it improves function and quality of life," said study author Ellen Lavoie Smith, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan's School of Nursing. She said the drug is also "very well tolerated" by most patients. Smith spoke at a news briefing Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Society of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cymbalta, Cancer, Peripheral Neuropathy, Duloxetine, Taxol, Paclitaxel, Onxol

Cell Transplant Tested as Treatment for Nerve Pain in Mice

Posted 23 May 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, May 23 – A new study in mice suggests that scientists may someday be able to treat nerve pain by transplanting embryonic nerve cells to restore a broken nervous system. There are plenty of caveats. It's not clear if the treatment will work in humans, and its cost and possible side effects are unknown. Still, there's potential for researchers to make a difference for people with nerve pain. The condition, also known as neuropathic pain, can make parts of the body ultra sensitive to touch and can be difficult to treat. "Nothing that gets rid of the pain works for a long period of time," said study co-author Allan Basbaum, chair of the department of anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco. "The problem is that even if drugs sort of work, they work everywhere in the body and inevitably have adverse side effects like sedation and mental clouding." Nerve pain can ... Read more

Related support groups: Peripheral Neuropathy

Many Docs Use Costly MRIs to Diagnose Nerve Condition: Study

Posted 25 Jan 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25 – Doctors are more likely to use high-cost MRI scans to diagnose peripheral neuropathy than cheaper – and more effective – glucose tolerance tests, a new U.S. study has found. In people with peripheral neuropathy, the nerves that carry information to and from the brain don't work properly. Symptoms of the disorder include tingling, burning or less feeling in the arms or legs, and can range from mild to severe. Diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy, which affects about 15 percent of those over age 40. When diagnosing peripheral neuropathy, doctors differ greatly in what tests they turn to, researchers at the University of Michigan noted in the study published in the Jan. 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. "We spend a lot of money to work up a diagnosis of neuropathy. The question is whether the money is well spent," study leader Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Peripheral Neuropathy, Diagnosis and Investigation

Acupuncture Might Ease Chemotherapy Pain

Posted 12 Dec 2011 by

MONDAY, Dec. 12 – Acupuncture may help relieve nerve pain caused by some cancer drugs, according to a new study. Cancer drugs called taxanes, vinca alkaloids and platinum compounds can damage peripheral nerves, especially in the calves and feet, resulting in severe nerve pain or difficulty walking. Currently, there is no effective treatment for the condition, called chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy. This small, preliminary study included six patients with peripheral neuropathy who underwent acupuncture and five patients with peripheral neuropathy who served as a comparison group. The acupuncture treatment involved insertion of 20 needles at specific points and depths, which were left in place for 20 minutes during each of the 10 sessions delivered by a doctor over a period of three months. Tests of the signaling speed and intensity of two nerves in the same calf were ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Peripheral Neuropathy

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