Research

More Than Surgery

A little over six decades ago, kidney transplantation was not an option for those afflicted with chronic kidney disease. Almost five decades ago, the first human heart transplantation surgery lasted nine hours while the patient survived for less than three weeks afterwards. A little over three decades ago, the first robot-assisted surgical procedure was performed…

Opioids and the Future of Pain Management

Vicodin, Demerol, OxyContin, Percocet – once among the inconspicuous painkillers that only occasionally occupied household medicine cabinets (and even then, only post-surgery or in the case of a very serious medical problem), today maintain household-name status.  They are members of the family of opioid analgesics, drugs that attach to specific receptors in the brain and…

The Reality of Virtual Reality in Medicine

The use of virtual reality in the medical field has been steadily developing over the past decade. Currently, the most effective methods of direct medical application are for psychiatric treatment. VR has been used to treat individuals with irrational fears and post-traumatic stress disorder. Virtual reality programs offer a controlled, gradual method of introducing otherwise…

A Spoonful of Sugar

In clinical trials that uphold the gold standard of double blind placebo controls, an inert pill is compared to the tested drug to measure the efficacy of the tested drug. If the efficacy of a tested drug is not determined to work better than the placebo, then the drug is not considered effective. Because a…

Phantom Limbs: The Missing Link

Scientists, researchers, and physicians alike still have not been able to pinpoint the precise cause of phantom pain, a term coined by Silas Weir Mitchell in 1871. Phantom limb is used to reference a syndrome in which patients experience pain or other sensations originating from a nonexistent limb. There may also be discrepancies between the…

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