News and Commentary Archive

Explore recent scientific discoveries and news as well as CLBB events, commentary, and press.

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The speed of technology in neuroscience as it impacts ethical and just decisions in the legal system needs to be understood by lawyers, judges, public policy makers, and the general public. The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior is an academic and professional resource for the education, research, and understanding of neuroscience and the law. Read more

Lessons in Pain Relief — A Personal Postgraduate Experience

By Philip Pizzo, MD | New England Journal of Medicine | September 2013

Philip Pizzo, MD, was Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine from 2001-2012. He is also the Heckerman Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Microbiology & Immunology.

Philip Pizzo, MD, was Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine from 2001-2012. He is also the Heckerman Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Microbiology & Immunology.

When I chaired an Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee on “Relieving Pain in America” (1) and then coauthored a Perspective article about the vast human toll and financial burden imposed by chronic pain, (2) I believed I understood the impact of chronic pain. Not only did I have experience caring for children with life-threatening and frequently painful disorders, I also had relatives with chronic pain syndromes and had witnessed the limitations of the medical care system. But it wasn’t until my own year-long journey with chronic pain that I received a higher-level education on the topic.

I was loading a suitcase onto an airport conveyor belt, when an unexpected twist led to my first twinge of back pain. I assumed it would be self-limited, especially since I was in good physical shape: for the past several decades, I’d been running one to three marathons a year and working at demanding jobs, most recently as a medical school dean. I felt impervious to stress and was almost always optimistic. Chronic pain changed all that. Continue reading »