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Clinical Research

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Our CRPS/RSD Research Program

rsdDr. Hanna has established a cutting edge research program with strong focus on the use of intravenous ketamine to manage chronic pain conditions that are not fully responsive to conventional pain therapies.

Our research department pushes our clinics to the forefront of a rapidly advancing field by adhering to the high standards and vigor of the scientific method. We are continually studying and identifying new and better treatment options for our patients’ pain. We not only employ the latest clinically-proven pain management techniques, but also actively define the discipline’s future. Through research and publication, our physicians not only benefit from these research studies, but also share their knowledge in major medical journals. Those journals often aid in medical advancement, and are consistently used for the benefit of other physicians and specialists.

What research is currently being done on CRPS?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the primary Federal supporter of research on the brain and central nervous system. Other NIH institutes also support research on CRPS and other painful conditions.

NINDS-supported scientists are studying new approaches to treat CRPS and to intervene more aggressively to limit the symptoms and disability associated with the syndrome.

Previous research has shown that CRPS-related inflammation is supported by the body’s natural immune response. Researchers hope to better understand how CRPS develops by studying immune system activation and peripheral nerve signaling using an animal model of the disorder. The animal model was developed to mimic certain CRPS-like features following fracture or limb surgery, by activating certain molecules involved in the immune system process.

Limb trauma, such as a fracture and then having the limb placed in a cast, is a common cause of CRPS. By studying an animal model, researchers hope to better understand the neuroinflammatory basis of CRPS and to identify the relevant inflammatory signaling pathways that lead to the development of post-traumatic CRPS. They also will examine inflammatory effects of cast immobilization and exercise on the development of pain behaviors and CRPS symptoms.

Peripheral nerve injury and subsequent regeneration often lead to a variety of sensory deficits. Researchers hope to identify specific cellular and molecular changes in sensory neurons following peripheral nerve injury to better understand the processes that underlie neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to reorganize or form new nerve connections and pathways following injury or death of nerve cells). Identifying these mechanisms could provide targets for new drug therapies that could improve recovery following regeneration.

Children and adolescents with CRPS generally have a better recovery than adults and offer a unique model for the study of chronic pain reversal. Scientists studying children with CRPS are investigating neuroplasticity and the biological processes that cause CRPS to occur, in the hopes of developing more effective therapies and accelerated recoveries for adults and children.

  •  Where can I get more information?For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network (BRAIN) at:BRAIN
    P.O. Box 5801
    Bethesda, MD 20824
    (800) 352-9424
    http://www.ninds.nih.gov

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