Illusion 'tricks brain into reducing arthritis pain'

Posted on 15 April 2011

An illusion could be used to treat osteoarthritis patients, after scientists stumbled upon the finding that a simple technique reduced the hand pain in individuals with arthritis who may be paying for care.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham were demonstrating the institute's MIRAGE technology, which uses video and physical effects to trick the brain into believing the user's hand is being stretched or shrunk, at an open day.

Dr. Catherine Preston explained: "During the course of the day the grandmother of one of the children wanted to have a go, but warned us to be gentle because of the arthritis in her fingers. We were giving her a practical demonstration of illusory finger stretching when she announced: 'My finger doesn't hurt anymore!'"

This comes after investigators at the University of Missouri revealed that a gene known as ADAM-12 could be significant in the treatment of arthritis, potentially leading to new treatments for people with long term care plans.

Posted by Natalie Edwards

 

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