Dr. Jana Sawynok

Dr. Jana Sawynok

Dr. Jana Sawynok

Neuroscience

Soothing severe pain:

Dr. Jana Sawynok has developed a topical treatment that provides safe and effective relief for people who suffer from neuropathic pain. “we’ve developed an analgesic cream that targets peripheral nerve endings in the affected area, to provide relief without the systemic effects of traditionals oral analgesics,” notes Dr. Sawynok, a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Dalhousie Medical School.

Caused by nerve injury resulting from trauma, infection, or disease such as diabetes, chronic neuropathic pain can be debilitating and interfere with all aspects of a person’s life.

The topical analgesic cream has been tested in several clinical trials which have shown that the formulation is safe and effective for treating neuropathic pain caused by shingles.

“The topical treatment is just as effective as a standard oral pain medication for shingles, and is well tolerated,” says Dr. Sawynok. Oral medications provide adequate pain relief in only some people with neuropathic pain, and there is a need for treatment options. In addition, topical pain treatments may be of particular benefit to the elderly, as they do not produce adverse effects on the central nervous system - such as dizziness, sleepiness or confusion - that could increase the risk of falls and other negative outcomes.”

Chronic pain is another area of keen interest to Dr Sawynok, who has been collaborating with clinical pain specialist ans researcher, Dr. Mary Lynch, for several years. Most recently, they have conducted a randomized controlled clinical trial of Qigong in the treatment of fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition involving central nervous system sensitizations that mostly affects women. They’ve found that Qigong, an ancient Chinese system of movement that influences the nervous system, is highly effective at relieving pain and improving sleep for these patients.

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