‘Battling the Opioid Epidemic: UA Experts see the Light Through Groundbreaking Research’ Subject of UA Arthritis Center Lecture, May 2

Apr 20, 2018
Free and open to the public, the lecture by Drs. Mohab M. Ibrahim and Todd W. Vanderah—members of one of the largest groups in the world studying chronic pain and treatment alternatives—will explore their exciting research on medications and therapies designed to inhibit chronic pain without unwanted side effects, including addiction.

TUCSON, Ariz. – “Battling the Opioid Epidemic: UA Experts See the Light Through Groundbreaking Research,” will be presented Wednesday, May 2, 6-7:15 p.m., at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. The 75-minute presentation will include time for questions and answers.

Chronic pain affects an estimated 100 million Americans, or one-third of the U.S. population, according to the National Institutes of Health. An increasing number use opioids for long-term management of chronic pain. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that 2 million people had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics indicate that the number of overdose deaths involving opioids was five times higher in 2016 than it was 1999. Last year, a nationwide public health emergency was declared regarding the opioid crisis.

University of Arizona researchers in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology are finding ways to effectively treat and understand chronic pain through leading-edge research. The UA has one of the largest groups in the world studying chronic pain and treatment alternatives.

Speakers Mohab M. Ibrahim, PhD, MD, and Todd W. Vanderah, PhD, will discuss their novel research on alternative medications and therapies designed to inhibit chronic pain without unwanted side effects, including addiction.

Dr. Ibrahim and his colleagues have made national headlines for their research on exposure to green LED light and mitigation of pain. His studies have shown how the green light is able to increase levels of circulating endogenous opioids within the body, which may explain the pain-relieving effects. Non-pharmacological methods are desperately needed to help the millions of individuals suffering from chronic pain and the initial research results are a significant breakthrough.

Dr. Vanderah, an expert on opioid addiction, has been seeking ways to create alternative analgesics for many years. He and his colleagues see promise in a specific class of chemical compounds designed to help patients fight pain.

Seating for the lecture is limited and prior registration is requested. For more information or to register, please visit the UA Arthritis Center website, arthritis.arizona.edu, or call 520-626-5040 or email livinghealthy@arthritis.arizona.edu

The UA Arthritis Center offers validation of parking tickets for the Banner – UMC Tucson Visitor/Patient Parking Garage during Living Healthy With Arthritis lectures. Tickets can be validated by a UA Arthritis Center staff member in the hospital lobby before or after the lecture.

If you have questions concerning access, wish to request a Sign Language interpreter or disability-related accommodations, please contact Tracy Shake, 520-626-5040, email: livinghealthy@arthritis.arizona.edu

The lecture is part of the “Living Healthy with Arthritis” series of free monthly talks presented by the UA Arthritis Center at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and supported through the Susan and Saul Tobin Endowment for Research and Education in Rheumatology. The fall lecture series will begin in September.

About the Speakers

Mohab M. Ibrahim, MD, PhD, is assistant professor in the UA Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, director of the Comprehensive Pain Management Clinic at Banner – University Medical Center South, and program director for the UA Pain Management Fellowship. He earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in biochemistry and a master’s degree and a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the UA. After receiving his medical degree from the UA College of Medicine – Tucson in 2008, he pursued a surgical internship at the UA. He then completed his residency in anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, followed by a clinical pain medicine fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, the teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School, Boston. He is highly regarded for his work on pain management and reduction across a multitude of ailments and diseases and has been published numerous times on this and related subjects.

Todd W. Vanderah, PhD, is professor and head of the Department of Pharmacology, and a professor in the Departments of Neurology and Anesthesiology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. His research interests include mechanisms of cancer pain, neuronal integration in pain pathways, neurochemical release during conditions of neuropathy, neuronal plasticity, opioid receptor pharmacology and novel targets for drug discovery. He is author of more than 135 original research articles.

About the University of Arizona Arthritis Center
The University of Arizona Arthritis Center, a Center of Excellence at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, is a research leader with a focus on identifying the causes of arthritis and developing improved diagnosis, measurement and treatment of the disease. For more information, please visit arthritis.arizona.edu


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