For those of you, who suffer from pancreatitis, don’t worry, we will get to the good stuff shortly. However, for those of you, who are unfamiliar, I think its best, we do a little memory refresher.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that results in digest enzymes attacking and damaging the surrounding tissue. When the diagnosis is chronic pancreatitis, the inflammation will never heal, and only worsens over time. The result is a constant abdominal pain, especially when eating.
In North America, pancreatitis is the most common reason for gastrointestinal-related hospitalization, equally affection the young and old. And contrary to popular belief, it has little to do with alcohol consumption.
Contrary to popular belief, only a small subset of pancreatitis cases are related to heavy alcohol use. It is not just a disease of alcoholics. In many patients, including young children, the cause of the inflammation is unexplained.” says Steven D. Freedman, MD, PhD, Director of the Pancreas Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).
Up until this point, typical treatments for pancreatitis and its symptoms include narcotic medications for pain, which has led to rampant addiction rates, parenteral nutrition (intravenous feeding) to bypass the digestive process, and surgery when needed.
However, Dr. Freedman is looking forward to changing that. “Because the main symptom of chronic pancreatitis is chronic pain, finding ways to remove or minimize pain is a major goal,” he says.
In a groundbreaking study, Dr. Freedman and Alvaro Pascual-Leone MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Cognitive Neurology and Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at BIDMC, teamed up and went right to the source of the problem; the section in the brain that signals pain in the pancreas.
Here’s how the study works according to an expose done CBS:
Clinical trials in which transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) — a noninvasive magnetic beam — was applied over that area of the scalp resulted in 70 percent of patients achieving significant reduction in their pain.
This is incredible news for the entire medical community and for patient care everywhere. This opens a huge door of opportunity to combat many issues that are plaguing our healthcare system; including an over-reliance on narcotic pain medication, a rampant addiction rate, and a corrupt pharmaceutical industry.
While this study is only being done in relation to pancreatitis, it does open a door of possibilities for it being used in combating pain for numerous other ailments that plagued us every day. And it does it, but going right to the source.