Five Questions with Dr. Catherine Bushnell
Monday, September 9, 2019
Yoga is all the rage these days, with millions of people taking part in the practice for relaxation, meditation, and increasing flexibility and muscle strength. However, the benefits of yoga go beyond what most might think. In fact, the mind-body practice of yoga could have a significant impact on the lives of those living with chronic pain, a condition that affects tens of millions of Americans.
In the past, doctors often prescribed opioids to treat chronic pain. However, research has shown that people with chronic pain have anatomical and neurochemical alterations in the brain that make them less responsive to opioids. In addition, both the medical and political systems are currently contending with a public health crisis stemming from the over-use of opioid pain medications. As a result, researchers have been working to identify ways to better manage chronic pain, particularly without the use of medication.
Neuroimaging Could Help Tailor Treatment for Amputees
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Our brains frequently cause us to perceive things that are not real, from high-pitched ringing in an empty room to dancing spots in our vision after staring at a bright light. Even more strangely, people with phantom limb syndrome feel sensations, including pain, in arms and legs that they no longer have. New IRP research into the brain mechanisms underlying phantom limb pain could help hone treatment for individuals living with the condition.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Everyone has a different pain threshold; a plate that’s too hot for one person to touch might be easily handled by someone else, for example. Now, IRP researchers have found the first evidence that a person’s sensation of a painful temperature more strongly influences the body’s automatic response to it than does the actual temperature.
Monday, May 7, 2018
On Wednesday, May 2, hundreds of researchers gathered at NIH’s Natcher Conference Center to show off their recent discoveries. But unlike a typical scientific conference, the letters “M.D.” and “Ph.D.” were noticeably absent from these scientists’ credentials. Instead, the event — NIH’s annual Postbac Poster Day — celebrated the accomplishments of individuals participating in the NIH Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) Program.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Isaac was born to fight. Arriving more than five weeks early by emergency C-section, it wasn’t just his way of coming into the world that made him different from his three brothers. While he initially looked healthy, his parents soon realized Isaac’s health was something he and the entire family would need to be fighting for every single day.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
From Travis’ appearance and attitude, you’d never believe that, inside his body, many things are wrong. His legs are different lengths, his bones are prone to breaking, and he has a long, “deep” tumor running from his lower spine down across his hip to below his knee. He also has lower back pain from constant irritation to the nerves in his spine.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Countries that grow poppies used to hold a monopoly on the ingredients to the main opiate painkilling drugs. Then in 1979, Dr. Kenner Rice of NIDDK’s Laboratory of Medicinal Chemistry (he is now at NIDA) discovered the critical chemical reaction enabling large-scale production of totally synthetic morphine, codeine, and thebaine, the three basic raw materials in opium.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Recently, I had the privilege of presenting a journal article to my lab group’s journal club in the PAIN (Pain And Integrative Neuroscience) lab for Dr. Catherine Bushnell. One goal of our lab is to look at the relationship and differences between itch and pain. So, what is the purpose of a journal club?
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
We are all given a name by our parents, nicknames by friends, roles and titles in school and at work. In my life, I have been known as “Goose,” “that blonde girl over there,” and, most commonly, “Lucy.” Here at the NIH, my most important title is that of “postbac,” or, more endearingly, “fledgling scientist.” Although this title does not necessarily command awestruck wonder, it does indicate recent graduates’ integral roles in labs at the NIH. The road to success is long, yet well worn, and we all have our own starting points.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Let’s start with some numbers: 30,000 neuroscientists, five days, and 20 pages of notes. It all adds up to a week well spent at the recent Society for Neuroscience (SfN) conference in Washington, D.C. Researchers from around the world, many from the NIH IRP, descended on the Washington Convention Center to share their most recent research, discoveries, thoughts, and future ideas.