Monday, February 8: News Articles
Pain is a complex, subjective experience that is known to be affected by biological, psychological, and social factors. To better understand the role of emotion in pain and pain relief, scientists have looked to social behavior in mice. Mice have been observed to “share” emotions in a way that mirrors human empathy, even when it comes to pain. In this article, scientists discuss how recent findings from McGill University may soon benefit humans seeing pain relief.
Wednesday, February 10: Accomplishment
Congratulations to Dr. Cruz-Almeida on her recent publication in The Journal of Pain Research, “Pain Severity and Interference in Different Parkinson’s Disease Cognitive Phenotypes.” Chronic pain is prevalent in Parkinson’s Disease (PD), with many individuals also experiencing cognitive deficits. This study examined differences in pain severity and interference between individuals with PD who were classified as having low executive function, low memory function, or no cognitive deficits. Participants with low executive function reported significantly higher pain interference, despite reporting similar pain severity levels as the other groups even after accounting for important confounders such as anxiety and depression. These findings may represent a target for psychosocial interventions for individuals with pain and PD.
Friday, February 12: Spotlight
Meet Vanessa Davila, an undergraduate double major (Nutritional Sciences/Spanish) volunteering in Dr. Cruz-Almeida’s PAIN Lab! Vanessa’s interest in pain research was, in-part, motivated by her own experiences with knee pain. A severe injury required three surgeries to her knee, leaving her with an increased risk of osteoarthritis at a younger age. She hopes that her time with PRICE will help her understand a condition that she may endure in the future, as well as the possibility of learning strategies to prevent or manage her own pain. Vanessa plays for the UF Women’s Club Volleyball team, and loves to work out in her free time while also helping others with their fitness goals through online coaching. After graduation, she plans to attend dental school in pursuit of a Doctorate of Dental Medicine.