Weekly Topic

(c) University of Nottingham


Illusion can Halve the Pain of Osteoarthritis, Scientists Say

A serendipitous discovery by academics at The University of Nottingham has shown that a simple illusion can significantly reduce -- and in some cases even temporarily eradicate -- arthritic pain in the hand.

By tricking the brain into believing that the painful part of the hand is being stretched or shrunk, the researchers were able to halve the pain felt by 85 per cent of sufferers they tested.

The research could point to new technologies of the future which could assist patients in improving mobility in their hand by reducing the amount of pain they experience while undergoing physiotherapy.

The Nottingham team stumbled on its finding completely by chance during the University’s Community Open Day in April last year.

As part of the event they invited members of the public to experience some of the body distortion illusions they use as part of their every day research using Nottingham’s unique MIRAGE technology -- which takes a real-time video capture image of a hand and uses computer manipulations combined with physically pulling or pushing on the hand to fool the brain into believing the hand is stretching or shrinking.

Up until now, the technology has been used for fundamental research into body representation -- the way in which our brain puts together what we see and what we feel.

Dr Roger Newport who is leading the research in the School of Psychology said: “The majority of people who come to these fun events are kids -- the illusions really capture their imagination and they think it’s a cool trick and can become a bit obsessed with working out how we do it.”

Illusion:錯覚 Halve:~を半減させる Osteoarthritis:変形性関節症
serendipitous:偶然の academics:学者 significantly:著しく temporarily:一時的に eradicate:~を除去する arthritic:関節炎の
brain:脳 is being shrunk:縮められている researchers:研究者 sufferers:患者
point to:~を提示する mobility:可動性 undergoing:受けていること physiotherapy:理学療法
stumbled on:~に行き当たった by chance:偶然に Community Open Day:地域の人々への一般公開日
members of the public:一般市民 distortion:歪み MIRAGE:(University of Nottinghamの独自の技術の名称) real-time:リアルタイムの video capture image:ビデオ取り込み画像 manipulations:操作 physically:物理的に fool~into ~をだまして...させる
body representation:身体表象 puts together:~をまとめる
Psychology:心理学 become obsessed with:~で頭がいっぱいになる a bit:少し working out:解明すること



★No.30 今週のフレーズ




★No.64 今週の英単語


医学ニュース de 英語







No.9 米国心臓協会年次学術集会より:“老け顔”の人は心疾患にご用心?!