Tag Archives: medical

Germany Allows Chronic Pain Sufferers to Grow Their Own Cannabis

This seems like a phenomenal idea. This allows the patient to put their care into their own hands. I wish America would follow suit on this. Cultivating your own medicine and regulating your dosage allows for a sense of control usually lost on patients who use medical marijuana for legitimate purposes.

Article courtesy of Fox News. Please click here for original article.

Published July 22, 2014

(REUTERS/Andres Stapff)

A German court ruled on Tuesday that some people suffering from chronic pain should be able to cultivate their own cannabis “for therapeutic purposes”.

Five people suffering from chronic pain brought the complaint to a court in Cologne after Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) refused them permission to grow the plant at home.

The court said the BfArM had to reconsider three of the requests that it had rejected.

While the plaintiffs all had permits to buy and consume cannabis for therapeutic purposes, they wanted to cultivate their own because they could not afford to purchase the drug and their health insurance did not cover it.

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Illinois Legalizes Medical Marijuana For Children With Seizures

I am glad that finally someone has discovered the sense to act on this. Illinois has now legalized medical marijuana for children with seizures. I thought that this would have take much longer to come to fruition – it has been hard enough to legalize MMJ for adult use! I am interested to see where this goes. I am just glad that children are now getting the relief they need.

Illinois Legalizes Medical Marijuana For Children With Seizures

Posted: 07/20/2014 5:29 pm EDT Updated: 07/20/2014 5:59 pm EDT
The highly-rated strain of medical marijuana 'Blue Dream' is displayed among others in glass jars at Los Angeles' first-ever cannabis farmer's market at the West Coast Collective medical marijuana dispensary, on the fourth of July, or Independence Day, in Los Angeles, California on July 4, 2014 where organizer's of the 3-day event plan to showcase high quality cannabis from growers and vendors throughout the state. A vendor is seen here responding to questions and offering a whiff of the strain | FREDERIC J. BROWN via Getty Images

The highly-rated strain of medical marijuana ‘Blue Dream’ is displayed among others in glass jars at Los Angeles’ first-ever cannabis farmer’s market at the West Coast Collective medical marijuana dispensary, on the fourth of July, or Independence Day, in Los Angeles, California on July 4, 2014 where organizer’s of the 3-day event plan to showcase high quality cannabis from growers and vendors throughout the state. A vendor is seen here responding to questions and offering a whiff of the strain | FREDERIC J. BROWN via Getty Images

July 20 (Reuters) – Illinois children and adults with epilepsy will soon be allowed to use marijuana to ease their symptoms under a law signed on Sunday by Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, the latest in a series of measures loosening restrictions on cannabis by U.S. states.

The move to add epilepsy and other seizure disorders to the list of conditions legal to treat with marijuana or its extracts comes as numerous states have made medical use of the drug legal. Two states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized its recreational use.
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How to Talk About Pain

How to Talk About Pain – Courtesy of

Credit Paul GarciaLONDON — IN 1926, Virginia Woolf published an essay on pain, “On Being Ill.” Isn’t it extraordinary, she observed, that pain does not rank with “love, battle and jealousy” among the most important themes in literature. She lamented the “poverty of the language of pain.” Every schoolgirl who falls in love “has Shakespeare, Donne, Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.”

Where are the novels or epic poems devoted to typhoid, pneumonia or toothaches, Woolf wondered? Instead, the person in pain is forced to “coin words himself, and, taking his pain in one hand, and a lump of pure sound in the other (as perhaps the inhabitants of Babel did in the beginning), so to crush them together that a brand new word in the end drops out.”

The difficulty in talking about painful sensations forces people to draw on metaphors, analogies and metonymies when attempting to communicate their suffering to others. Woolf — writing nearly a century after the popularization of ether, the first anesthetic — was perhaps too pessimistic about the creativity of sufferers. Take lower back pain, the single leading cause of disability worldwide. In the 1950s, one sufferer of back pain said that it felt like “a raging toothache — sometimes like something is moving or crawling down my legs.” Half a century later, one person confessed that “my back hurt so bad I felt like I had a large grapefruit down about the curve of the back.”

Woolf would not have been impressed perhaps by claims that backs hurt like a toothache or a grapefruit, but she was right to recognize that people in pain seek both to describe their suffering and to give meaning to it.

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Taking Your Life Back From Chronic Pain

Taking Your Life Back From Chronic Pain

US News

Imagine gritting it out with sharp, throbbing pain from a migraine or back injury for just a few hours. Or doing your best to concentrate at work through the ache of an abscessed tooth.

Now, imagine coping with similar pain for years — and though it goes away at times, it’s never for long. Sadly, that’s the reality for millions of Americans. Chronic pain can take over a person’s life, but it doesn’t have to. Still, there’s no magic pill. Learning to manage pain is a process you go through and a decision you make.

Pain’s Wide Reach

Pain is invisible — others can’t see it or touch it. There isn’t a blood test that measures pain, or an X-ray that confirms its existence. It can be hard for people to get their pain taken seriously. But pain is a big problem. About 100 million U.S. adults are affected by chronic pain, and it costs up to $635 billion yearly in medical care and lost productivity, according to a 2011 Institute of Medicine report.

Backaches and headaches (especially migraines) are the most common pain culprits, but there are many others. Arthritis, injuries, pain from cancer or heart disease, genetic conditions like sickle cell disease, and surgical complications like severed nerves — any of these can result in pain that becomes a continual presence.

[Read: How to Describe Medical Symptoms to Your Doctor.]

Here to Stay

For Penney Cowan, founder of the American Chronic Pain Association, the journey with pain began nearly 40 years ago. Fibromyalgia was the reason, but it took six years for doctors to properly diagnose it. Even today, the cause of fibromylagia is still unclear, but common symptoms include widespread muscle pain, fatigue and sleep problems. In Cowan’s case, pain affected nearly her entire body and worsened to the point that her quality of life was “down the tubes,” she says. “I couldn’t even hold a cup of coffee; it was too painful.” It became so bad, she says, that it consumed every waking thought and moment.

When does pain cross the line from temporary setback to lifelong condition? “If the pain’s been around for five years, the chances of having zero pain are probably pretty small,” says Robin Hamill-Ruth, an anesthesiologist, pain management specialist and president of the American Board of Pain Medicine. At that point, she says, pain management becomes the goal: “How do you get the pain to a level that it doesn’t control [patients’] lives — they control it?”

[Read: Yoga with Fibromyalgia: Carol Royal’s Story.]

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Marijuana, Obesity, and Pain: A link?

This was definitely a fun read!

‘Cannabis’ receptor discovery may help understanding of obesity and pain

(—Researchers have discovered that a genetic difference in a ‘switch’, which causes over-activity in parts of the brain, may explain why some people could be more susceptible to conditions such as obesity and addiction, and may play a role in chronic pain and psychosis.

Aberdeen scientists believe that the findings—published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry—might help our understanding of these conditions and also be a step towards the development of personalised therapies to help treat them. The team from the University’s Kosterlitz Centre for Therapeutics studied genetic differences around the gene CNR1. This gene produces what are known as cannabinoid receptors, which are found in the brain, and which activate parts of the brain involved in memory, mood, appetite and pain. Cannabinoid receptors activate these areas of the brain when they are triggered by chemicals produced naturally in our bodies called endocannabinoids. Chemicals found in the drug cannabis mimic the action of these endocannabinoids and there is growing evidence that cannabis has pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties which can help treat diseases such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis.  However, developing drugs from cannabis to treat these conditions is hampered by the fact that such drugs will have psychoactive side effects, and smoked cannabis can cause addiction and psychosis in up to 12% of users. In order to understand more about these side effects and the genetic factors which determine how people respond, the scientists studied genetic differences around the CNR1 gene. Dr Alasdair MacKenzie, who helped lead the team, said: “We chose to look at one specific genetic difference in CNR1 because we know it is linked to obesity and addiction. What we found was a mutation that caused a change in the genetic switch for the gene itself—a switch that is very ancient and has remained relatively unchanged in overthree hundred million years of evolution, since before the time of the dinosaurs. “These genetic ‘switches’ regulate the gene itself, ensuring that it is turned on or off in the right place at the right time and in the right amount. “It is normally thought that mutations cause disease by reducing the function of the gene, or the switch that controls it. “In this case however, the mutation actually increased the activity of the switch in parts of the brain that control appetite and pain, and also—and most especially—in the part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is affected in psychosis. Dr Scott Davidson, who played a key role in the discovery of this genetic difference in the switch added: “Further analysis of this mutation will help us to understand many of the side effects which are associated with cannabis use such as addiction and psychosis.” Professor Ruth Ross, Head of the Kosterlitz Centre and an internationally recognised expert in cannabis pharmacology, added: “Previously in drug research, attempts to detect the causes of adverse drug reactions have focused on the genes themselves. “Our study is one of the first to explore the possibility that changes in gene switches are involved in causing side effects to drugs. We believe this approach will be crucially important in the future development of more effective personalised medicine, with fewer side effects.” One question that is intriguing the research team is why this overactive genetic switch evolved in the first place. Dr MacKenzie explains: “We know that this overactive switch is relatively rare in Europeans, but is quite common in African populations. But we were all once African, so something must have decreased it in our early ancestors who left Africa and migrated through Central Asia towards Europe and the north. “One possibility we are keen to explore is that once in Central Asia these early migrants came into contact with the cannabis plant, which we know was endemic across that area at that time. it is possible that the side effects of taking cannabis were such that people with the mutation were not so effective in producing and raising children. Therefore, over the generations the numbers of people with the mutation decreased. “This work is at a very early stage however, and there are likely to be more exciting discoveries—not only on how these differences came about, but also about the role of this genetic switch in health and disease.”

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Fighting Chronic Pain – St. Jude’s Novel Approach

St. Jude Medical Announces FDA Clearance for Industry-First Neurostimulation Lead Delivery System for the Management of Chronic Pain

Innovative Epiducer system allows introduction of multiple neurostimulation leads through a single entry point

ST. PAUL, Minn., Jul 12, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — St. Jude Medical, Inc., a global medical device company, today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance and limited market release of the Epiducer(TM) lead delivery system for neurostimulation therapy. This first-of-its-kind system allows physicians to place multiple neurostimulation leads through a single entry point.

Designed to reduce procedural complexities and enhance efficiency, the Epiducer lead delivery system reduces the need for multiple incisions typically required to place more than one neurostimulation lead utilized in spinal cord stimulation (SCS) therapy for the management of chronic pain. The system also allows physicians to introduce St. Jude Medical S-Series(TM) paddle leads through a percutaneous entry. Before the Epiducer system, the placement of paddle leads was only possible through a laminotomy, a more invasive surgical procedure that typically requires removal of part of the vertebral bone.

In addition, this minimally invasive system enables physicians to deliver one, two or three different leads through a single entry point to configure and optimize the therapy for each patient. This allows for the management of complex and multifocal pain patterns such as low back pain combined with leg pain.

“The Epiducer lead delivery system represents an important paradigm shift and step forward enabling physicians to configure patient-specific systems utilizing multiple lead arrays to treat complex multifocal pain, and we are excited to bring it to the U.S. market,” said Chris Chavez, president of the St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division. “This innovative system is already available in Europe, Australia and Canada, and physician feedback has been very positive regarding this new capability to deliver multiple lead configurations less invasively.”

Created with a highly radiopaque material to provide easy fluoroscopic visualization, the Epiducer system is the newest addition to the St. Jude Medical product portfolio which includes many industry firsts including:

— World’s smallest neurostimulator for chronic pain — the Eon Mini(TM) spinal cord stimulator

— First-of-its-kind five-column paddle lead — the Penta(TM) lead

— Unique mechanical locking lead anchor designed to enhance procedural efficiency — the Swift-Lock(TM) anchor

Neurostimulation (also called spinal cord stimulation) is used for managing chronic pain of the trunk and limbs and pain from back surgeries that have failed. Mild electrical pulses are carried from the neurostimulator to a lead or leads that are placed in the epidural space near the spine to interrupt or mask the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Electrodes on the lead can be programmed to meet each individual patient’s needs. More information can be obtained about neurostimulation therapy at .

Chronic pain affects millions worldwide. According to a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies, chronic pain affects an estimated 116 million American adults — more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. Pain also costs the nation up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity. Noting that much of this pain is preventable or could be better managed, the IOM report calls for coordinated national efforts of public and private organizations to create a cultural transformation in how the nation understands and approaches pain management and prevention. The study was mandated by Congress and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The IOM provides independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, health professionals, the private sector, and the public. Visit the IOM site for more on their “Relieving Pain in America” report.

Three Decades of Leading-Edge Neurostimulation Technology

For more than 30 years, the St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division has developed new technologies to treat chronic pain and other neurological disorders. Today more than 75,000 patients in 40 countries have been implanted with St. Jude Medical neurostimulation systems. Focused on research, St. Jude Medical is developing new technologies to address a growing list of neurological disorders. Clinical studies are currently underway or results being reported currently for Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, migraine headaches, major depressive disorder, and others.

About St. Jude Medical

St. Jude Medical develops medical technology and services that focus on putting more control into the hands of those who treat cardiac, neurological and chronic pain patients worldwide. The company is dedicated to advancing the practice of medicine by reducing risk wherever possible and contributing to successful outcomes for every patient. St. Jude Medical is headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., and has four major focus areas that include cardiac rhythm management, atrial fibrillation, cardiovascular and neuromodulation. For more information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements include the expectations, plans and prospects for the Company, including potential clinical successes, anticipated regulatory approvals and future product launches, and projected revenues, margins, earnings and market shares. The statements made by the Company are based upon management’s current expectations and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include market conditions and other factors beyond the Company’s control and the risk factors and other cautionary statements described in the Company’s filings with the SEC, including those described in the Risk Factors and Cautionary Statements sections of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 1, 2011 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended April 2, 2011. The Company does not intend to update these statements and undertakes no duty to any person to provide any such update under any circumstance.

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SOURCE: St. Jude Medical, Inc.

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Posted by on July 12, 2011 in Emotional, Hope, Pain - Physical, Pain - Psychological


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