How can surgical patients recover without opioids?
There’s been a decline in surgery-related opioid prescriptions since 2016 in an effort to combat addiction. And while the numbers are still in a downward trend, a study in JAMA Network Open reveals that the progress has slowed significantly since Covid. While experts say surgeons shouldn’t eliminate opioid prescribing altogether, there needs to be a clear focus on accurate and necessary opioid prescriptions. (University of Michigan)
How do you fix a broken heart?
Some researchers think radiation may be the answer. A study in the journal Med examined how low-dose radiation therapy affects mice with heart failure. The findings suggest that damaged hearts with high levels of inflammation could benefit from this process by removing the inflamed cells from the muscle. The scientists plan to continue this research to see if this option would be effective in human hearts. (Washington University in St. Louis)
A new form of pain relief for amputees
Many people experience phantom limb pain after losing a leg or foot. The condition doesn’t always respond to pain medication and often impacts a person’s quality of life. Thankfully, new research in Nature Biomedical Engineering shows how spinal cord stimulation can alleviate this ache. The process restores sensory feedback to the limb, which also helps improve balance and mobility. (University of Pittsburgh)
Virtual reality can help people with autism
VR gives users the opportunity to experience social situations in a safe and comfortable setting. Experts believe this capability can help neurodiverse learners practice skills and become acclimated to situations before entering the real world. Scientists think this technology can be adapted into different learning environments, such as special education classrooms. The findings are published in the journal Computers & Education: X Reality. (University of Missouri)