Living with pain every day

Larissa Meijer MSc Source: Parkinsonfinds.nl 7 februari 2020
There are no results from this research yet. It has been delayed due to the corona. Note editorial Pijn-Hoop

I would like to introduce myself to you: my name is Larissa Meijer and as a neuropsychologist I conduct research into Parkinson's disease.

Living with pain every day
30 to 95% of Parkinson's patients live with pain. This has a huge impact on their daily lives. It is a growing problem and at the same time an underexposed subject; Pain is often not treated or not treated effectively.
Parkinson's is still incurable, but patients can grow older with it. It would be nice if they could maintain the highest possible quality of life. My research team and I are happy to commit ourselves to this.
Together with Prof. Dr. Chris Dijkerman and Prof. Dr. Erik Scherder, I conduct research into pain management in Parkinson's. We want to investigate whether affective touch can help reduce chronic pain.

Reduce chronic pain
A previous study among healthy subjects shows that they experience much less pain through an affective way of touching after a painful stimulus. A gentle, slow touch – almost a caress – activates a separate group of nerve pathways. It turns out that these are linked to our pain system. When these nerve pathways are activated, we feel less pain. The pain stimulus has difficulty reaching the brain or is inhibited in the brain.

You can activate the nerve pathways with a soft brush, but the effect is stronger when you touch skin to skin. The partner, caregiver or other caregiver can gently and slowly touch the patient with their hand. We want to investigate whether this also applies to people with chronic pain. If they also experience less pain, we want to use affective touch as a new treatment method in the short term.

Non-drug treatment
The treatment is non-pharmacological, so no medication is involved. This also makes it accessible to participate in the research. If it also works for people with chronic pain, this is a pleasant, beautiful way of treatment. This can be done, for example, just after a care moment. This also creates stronger contact between the patient and their partner/caregiver. Touch by a loved one is more pleasant than touch in a clinical environment.
If gentle touch reduces pain, quality of life, mood and cognition/thinking skills may also improve. We also include these possible positive side effects in our study.

Deploy in the short term
Our intended concrete results: new insights and more knowledge about pain management in Parkinson's and a new, patient-friendly treatment method without medication for today's patients. If the treatment method works, we can use it in the short term to alleviate the complaints of current patients.
As a neuropsychologist, I would like to help patients improve or maintain their quality of life. This all comes together in this new treatment technique, which can benefit current and future patients. We want to conduct two studies with a total of at least 100 patients.

How can you help?
Donate now for scientific research towards preventing or curing Parkinson's.
Your gift will be spent exclusively on the very best medical-scientific research.

Foundation Pain-Hope

Pain Hope is a patient organisation for and by people with chronic pain. The patient organisation focuses on people with any kind of pain. This can include pain for which there is no obvious cause. So anyone with chronic pain of any kind can join the Pain Hope Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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