Your Brain On (and off) Chronic Pain: Part I

chronic pain on the brain

Chronic pain science and treatments (start time: 4:27) In this week’s show host Susan Moran interviews two experts on the emerging neuroscience of and mind-body treatments for chronic pain, which is a leading cause of disability in the U.S. As many as one in five Americans suffer from chronic pain. The problem has cost the country more than $600 billion in treatments and lost work-time. Our guests today are at the forefront of research and clinical treatment of chronic pain. Dr. Yoni Ashar is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in the Department of Internal Medicine. Several years ago he led the Boulder Back Pain Study on a mind-body program called Pain Reprocessing Therapy.  Brad Fanestil, MD, is an internist and the director of the Center for Mind Body Medicine at Boulder Community Health. Stay tuned for details on a Part II discussion on mind-body medical treatments for chronic pain, anxiety and other ailments.
Relevant resources:
* New randomized back-pain study (led by Dr. Ashar) seeks subjects.
* The Way Out, by Alan Gordon
* Lecture by Dr. Fanestil on treating chronic pain with mind-body medicine
* Curable app for managing chronic pain

Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender
Listen to the show here:


Boulder Robotics // Compassion

Image courtesy of Boulder is for Robotics


Boulder is for Robotics (start time 4:00). “It starts really with the fact that a lot of robotics materials, sensors and manufacturing are here in Colorado.” Boulder as a hub for robotics? You bet. KGNU’s Tom McKinnon reports from the first Boulder is for Robotics meetup, which drew over 100 participants. Learn about some local projects, from robots for agriculture to robots for kids.


Photo courtesy of Flickr user gelinh, used under Creative Commons
The Neurology of Compassion (start time 12:50). “Someone on the street asks you for money. Do you give or not? What drives that decision?” Researchers Jessica Andrews-Hanna and Yoni Ashar from University of Colorado’s Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab talk to us about the causes and effects of compassion. The first of their studies on compassion looks at charitable giving. What determines whether a person will decide to donate part of their earnings? They also talk to us about their current study, which involves using brain scans to evaluate the effect of compassion meditation.

Hosts: Tom McKinnon & Beth Bartel
Producer: Beth Bartel
Engineers: Jim Pullen and Shelley Schlender
Additional contributions: Breanna Draxler & Susan Moran
Executive producer: Shelley Schlender

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