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donderdag 16 februari 2012

Panax Ginseng

I wanted to try a new supplement to stimulate the bloodcirculation as well as my brain. A therapist in plants and herbs had recommended me asian panax ginseng. The siberian ginseng was a no go.
Two days later I was blessed with an acute attack of rheumatoid arthritis in my hand. First, a miserable night in which every cell of my body ached as if I was lying in barbed wire. The next morning my fingers were swollen with thick veins, a few hours later I was bedridden with a flu attack. Then my fingers were very painful and stiff for some days. It feels better now. .

So, for those who want to stimulate their immune system, go for panax ginseng.

But if you're sure that you suffer from Crohn's disease or lupus, stay away from it!

Panax ginseng

Ik dacht eens een nieuw supplement uit te proberen om de bloedsomloop te stimuleren en mijn brein wat aan de praat te houden. Het plantje dat een fytotherapeut had aangeraden was panax ginseng, de aziatische. De siberische, die mocht ik zeker niet nemen. Zo gezegd, zo gedaan.

Twee dagen later ben ik gezegend met een acute aanval van reumatoide artritis aan mijn hand blijkt nu. Eerst een mega-ellendige nacht waarbij elke cel van mijn lijf pijn deed alsof ik in de prikkeldraad lag. De volgende ochtend dikke vingers met gezwollen aders, enkele uren laten een griepaanval van jewelste. Dan een paar dagen zeer pijnlijke en stijve vingers. Vandaag is het voor het eerst weer wat beter.

Zo, voor diegenen die hun immuunsystem willen stimuleren: neem panax ginseng

En als je zeker bent dat je aan Crohn of lupus lijdt, a.f.b.l.i.j.v.e.n.

Neuron memory key to taming chronic pain

Neuron memory key to taming chronic pain

Feb. 13, 2012

Study suggests erasing neuronal memories may help control persistent pain

For some, the pain is so great that they can’t even bear to have clothes touch their skin. For others, it means that every step is a deliberate and agonizing choice. Whether the pain is caused by arthritic joints, an injury to a nerve or a disease like fibromyalgia, research now suggests there are new solutions for those who suffer from chronic pain.

A team of researchers led by McGill neuroscientist Terence Coderre, who is also affiliated with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, has found the key to understanding how memories of pain are stored in the brain. More importantly, the researchers are also able to suggest how these memories can be erased, making it possible to ease chronic pain.

It has long been known that the central nervous system “remembers” painful experiences, that they leave a memory trace of pain. And when there is new sensory input, the pain memory trace in the brain magnifies the feeling so that even a gentle touch can be excruciating.

“Perhaps the best example of a pain memory trace is found with phantom limb pain,” suggests Coderre. “Patients may have a limb amputated because of gangrene, and because the limb was painful before it was amputated, even though the limb is gone, the patients continue to feel they are suffering from pain in the absent limb. That’s because the brain remembers the pain. In fact, there’s evidence that any pain that lasts more than a few minutes will leave a trace in the nervous system.” It’s this memory of pain, which exists at the neuronal level, that is critical to the development of chronic pain. But until now, it was not known how these pain memories were stored at the level of the neurons.

Recent work has shown that the protein kinase PKMzeta plays a crucial role in building and maintaining memory by strengthening the connections between neurons. Now Coderre and his colleagues have discovered that PKMzeta is also the key to understanding how the memory of pain is stored in the neurons. They were able to show that after painful stimulation, the level of PKMzeta increases persistently in the central nervous system (CNS).

Even more importantly, the researchers found that by blocking the activity of PKMzeta at the neuronal level, they could reverse the hypersensitivity to pain that neurons developed after irritating the skin by applying capsaicin – the active ingredient in hot peppers. Moreover, erasing this pain memory trace was found to reduce both persistent pain and heightened sensitivity to touch.

Coderre and his colleagues believe that building on this study to devise ways to target PKMzeta in pain pathways could have a significant effect for patients with chronic pain. “Many pain medications target pain at the peripheral level, by reducing inflammation, or by activating analgesia systems in the brain to reduce the feeling of pain,” says Coderre. “This is the first time that we can foresee medications that will target an established pain memory trace as a way of reducing pain hypersensitivity. We believe it’s an avenue that may offer new hope to those suffering from chronic pain.”

The full article can be found at:

Other contributing researchers on this study include Andre Laferrière, Mark H Pitcher, Anne Haldane, Yue Huang, Virginia Cornea, Naresh Kumar, Fernando Cervero (all from the Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain at McGill) and co-author Todd C Sacktor (State University of New York Downstate Medical Center).

This research was supported by grants from Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and an Astra-Zeneca/AECRP fellowship.

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