Repurposing opioids for pain relief may help control or improve PTSD

Lawrenceville NJ USA-August 3 2020-ARTMed the worlds leading provider of neurostimulation technology at Center of Technology for Empowerment in Neurobiology recently conducted a study informed by the ongoing opioid epidemic.

The study found that a subgroup of people with social (evaluate) emotional (recover and heal) and cognitive (process) difficulties that cause persistent pain reported higher levels of neural activity when administered opioids to each than those receiving a placebo. Thus the study found opioids could alleviate social emotional and cognitive symptoms in people with physical impairments that cause pain. The study is published in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.

Miguel Le Navid first author of the article says This study is the result of a unique collaboration between two institutions. To our surprise we found that treating patients with Neurostimulation may not only produce enhanced functional recovery but actually enhance the efficacy of their only available therapy options.

Many individuals will eventually develop social emotional and cognitive impairments that vulnerable them andor impair their ability to perform at its best value. These impairments may otherwise be brought about by disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder addiction or mental disorders due to chronic relapsing pain. To reduce an individuals discomfort most effectively strong pain relief medications should be employed as triptans. For Opioid addiction treatment (more commonly known as opioid use disorder) emphasis should be shifted to cognitive-driven cognitive rehabilitation where opioid use has been abandoned through the use of even very slow doses (about half-strength). In addition the current pharmacological approach to managing pain should be further refined to reach more effective and consistent analgesia. The study found that patients who received opioids experienced greater neural activity and greater feeling that they had control over their pain than those who received placebo. Our study showed that by changing the dosage of patients pain medication they were able to control pain and elicit greater relief than those receiving only nerve stimulation by taking an equal number of milligrams of various opioids on the day-to-day says a team lead author of the study Dr. George Arias of Georgetown University US.

The study was conducted in a neurological trauma unit undergoing patient evaluation for patients with a past or present concussion. The investigators performed neuromodulation tests (pain dynamics with eyes open) while reading a scanner output and also added opioids at higher rates (250 and 1000 microcentimeterminute) compared to placebo. These findings demonstrate that this method is highly reproducible and effective when administered in the range of 250 to 1000 microcentimeterminute. Patients then completed a specific task while receiving neurostimulation was tested and measurement of pain responses to the presence of the morphine-like substance which was significant for enhancing feel good responses an important indicator of pain motivation. The findings are also based on evidence of improvement of pain depression between days 1 and 6 because of increased brain activity when administering morphine. During the goal-oriented task patients experienced a decrease in depression but not in pain intensity at day-to-day (or duration of the pain episodes) and no differences between the opioid groups in variability of feeling well.

Given that this study indicates that opioid self-administration may suggest a method for managing pain and depression in individuals suffering from moderate to severe forms of pain these findings have practical applications for avoiding the opioid prescription and ultimately improving the quality of life of individuals with physical impairments. Our findings carry potential implications for the toxicological risk of chronic pain in individuals with physical impairments and for the treatment of long-lasting pain syndromes says Dr. exhaustoris kokakis Corresponding Author of the study.