This is an excerpt from Research Features, a publication of Research Publishing International:
Dr. Takahiro Takano's research focuses on developing alternative treatment strategies for chronic pain. His recent research has looked at developing understanding of adenosine signalling - similarly seen when using acupuncture as a therapeutic treatment against chronic pain. Dr. Takano is an assistant professor at Eastman Institute for Oral Health's Center for Oral Biology.
Chronic Pain and Acupuncture: from Needles to Analgesia
With million of people suffering from long-term pain, acupuncture is a popular, but mysterious, alternative to painkilling drugs. Research carried out by Dr. Takahiro Takano, at the University of Rochester Medical Center [Eastman Institute for Oral Health], not only sheds light on how acupuncture works - and why it sometimes does not- but may lead to a whole new line of pain-relieving treatments.
Chronic (or persistent) pain often defined as pain lasting for at least twelve weeks, affects huge number of people, including over one-third of the American population. Existing treatments for chronic pain heavily depend on opioid drugs, such as morphine, codeine and tramadol. However, these drugs have disadvantages including side effects, addiction and tolerance, which cause many pain sufferers to turn to alternative treatments, such as acupuncture.
While acupuncture has many devotees, its efficacy has proven hard to document and its success is often highly variable. however, ground-breaking research by Dr. Takahiro Takano is beginning to shed light on the physiological basis of acupuncture, and opens up new possibilities for chronic pain treatment that may bridge the gap between conventional and alternative medicine.