Your Brain on tACS: Electrical Stimulation Can Alleviate Chronic Back Pain

An investigation of individuals with chronic low back pain revealed that a disruption of normal brain activity patterns is related to worse perceived pain. Use of targeted electrical stimulation showed an increase in normal brain activity and reduced pain severity. While these results are only preliminary, they show promise for use of a noninvasive therapy for chronic pain that can be tailored to an individual’s specific brain activity. Continue reading Your Brain on tACS: Electrical Stimulation Can Alleviate Chronic Back Pain

When Everything Hurts: The story of a grad student trying to rise above chronic pain and depression

Note to the Reader: The following article discusses material of a potentially upsetting nature. While the narrative details are fictional, the ideas and themes—both scientific and personal—are real. Information regarding resources for those in crisis can be found at the end of this article. by Emily Orwell figures by Sean Wilson I’m having one of those days. You know, the type where I accidentally slice my … Continue reading When Everything Hurts: The story of a grad student trying to rise above chronic pain and depression

Liverwort as an alternative to medical cannabis

Cannabinoids are a family of chemical compounds that bind to cannabinoid receptors found on various cell types in the body, and alter the release of neurotransmitters. Endocannabinoids are produced naturally in our bodies (e.g. anandamide is associated with the euphoria of a “runner’s high”). On the other hand, phytocannabinoids are found in plants – of course, the most well-known phytocannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is responsible … Continue reading Liverwort as an alternative to medical cannabis

Your Personality May Determine How You Respond to Placebo Pills

The placebo effect is a puzzling phenomenon. Placebos (sugar pills or saline solutions secretly substituted for actual drugs) are commonly used in clinical trials to set a baseline against which to measure the effects of a drug. However, people in the placebo group will often show improvements alongside the treatment group. The fact that an inactive substance, such as a sugar pill, can lead to … Continue reading Your Personality May Determine How You Respond to Placebo Pills