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Selected Research Results by Date

NCCIH funds a wide variety of research studies, primarily focusing on three areas: mind and body practices, natural products, and pain. We also conduct research at the National Institutes of Health laboratories in Bethesda, Maryland.

This page provides plain language summaries of a few of the studies that NCCIH has supported or conducted. For more information, see this full list of published NCCIH-funded research studies in PubMed.

May 2020 Pain Research Spotlight Dr. Chesler

Defining Transcriptomic Class of Trigeminal Neurons in situ Reveals Their Roles in Sensation
Neuron classification is useful for examining changes in gene expression induced by pathological conditions that trigger chronic pain 
May 2020

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Sympathetic Nervous System Influences Development and Tissue Maintenance, Mouse Research Suggests
New animal research funded in part by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggests that stress-induced hair graying in mice may be an accessible model to investigate how stress influences tissue regeneration.
January 2020

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Stem Cell Technology Helps Scientists Generate a Previously Unknown Type of Sensory Neuron
Humans may have a special type of sensory nerve cell that senses both cold and mechanical force, new research involving stem cells shows.
December 2019

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Using Twitter To Learn About Patient-Provider Communication on Pain
This new study sheds light on how pain patients and health care providers interact on Twitter.
December 2019

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Study Explores Clinical Management of New Cases of Musculoskeletal Pain
Contrary to practice guidelines, many patients are initially prescribed opioids for a new chronic musculoskeletal pain problem.
December 2019

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Nerve Cells in Mouse GI Tract Defend Against Infection
NCCIH-supported research identifies two mechanisms by which GI tract nerve cells defend against Salmonella bacteria.
December 2019

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Analysis of Data Gives Insight into Complementary Health Recommendations from U.S. Physicians
Research shows more than half of office-based physicians recommend at least one complementary health approach to their patients, and female physicians recommended every complementary health approach at a higher rate than male physicians except for chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation.
November 2019

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Study Explains How the Amygdala Regulates Pain
Study explores the previously unknown role of the central amygdala (region of the brain associated with emotional processes) in upgrading and downgrading pain signals in the brain.
October 2019


Rat Study Suggests Dietary Polyphenol Supplementation Has Potential To Relieve Intervertebral Disc Degeneration Pain
Rat study findings suggest that dietary supplementation with polyphenols (naturally occurring compounds found in plant-derived foods) may ease back pain associated with intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration.
October 2019

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Access to Chiropractors May Reduce Medical Spending for Older Adults’ Spine-Related Services
Results of a new NCCIH-supported study suggest that older adults’ access to chiropractic care may reduce medical spending on services for spine conditions.
August 2019