National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health

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Health Topics A-Z

Selected Research Results by Date

Research spotlights of selected studies are shown below. For a full list of published NCCIH Research to-date, see PubMed.

Spotlights for 2018

coffee mug
Mouse study suggests the coffee components eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide (EHT) and caffeine protect against Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies (December 2018)
NCCIH-funded research suggests weekly massage therapy may reduce joint pain and improve function in people with knee osteoarthritis. (December 2018)
Two different groups of parabrachial neurons, one expressing calcitonin gene-related peptide (green) and the other expressing substance P (red). Source: Arnab Barik, Chesler Laboratory, NCCIH
A newly identified pathway involving the spinal cord and two parts of the brainstem plays a key role in behavioral responses to an uncomfortable heat stimulus, according to a study in mice from the National Center for (November 2018)
NHIS children
New NHIS data show higher use rates of meditation, yoga by U.S. children. (November 2018)
adult NHIS
New National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data show rising use of yoga, meditation, chiropractic by U.S. adults. (November 2018)
New NCCIH-supported research suggests the PIEZO2 mechanoreceptor is essential for light touch detection after injury in mice and humans, and that PIEZO2 antagonists may provide a new avenue for relieving a variety of... (October 2018)
This Research Spotlight highlights new data suggesting that in 2016 nearly 20 percent of U.S. adults had chronic pain and 8 percent had high-impact chronic pain (pain that limited at least one major life activity). (September 2018)
pregnant women being examined by doctor
In a new study, behavioral lifestyle intervention programs that focused primarily on diet and physical activity limited weight gain during pregnancy in overweight or obese women. (September 2018)
woman in pain
In this NCCIH-funded study, researchers suggest the experimental setting influences how study participants assess painful stimuli; these findings may help researchers design studies to better understand the mechanisms... (August 2018)
Almost 11 million U.S. adults have “High Impact Chronic Pain.”  (August 2018)
People who are naturally more mindful report less pain and show lower activation of a specific region of the brain in response to an unpleasant heat stimulus, according to a new study supported by the National Center (July 2018)
After an injury, neurons undergo genetic changes that are initiated by DLK and lead to pain and nerve damage. Over time (left to right), certain genes become more active.
Researchers identifiy a key molecule, dual leucine zipper kinase (DLK), that controls pathways leading to chronic neuropathic pain following nerve injury. (July 2018)
brain scan
Animal research suggests pain-induced changes in the brain’s opioid receptor system may explain the limited effectiveness of opioid therapy in chronic pain; these changes also may play a role in the depression that... (May 2018)
NCCIH-supported researchers at Stanford University have modified yeast cells to synthesize noscapine, a potential anticancer drug. (April 2018)
 foot pain plantar fasciitis
Data analysis from a large, national survey provides insights into factors associated with plantar fasciitis and its pharmaceutical treatment. (March 2018)
Steam being released from a red pot as a hand lifts the cover
Results of new NCCIH research shows how a person perceives and evaluates stimuli involving actual or prospective pain is an important component in the autonomic nervous system’s (ANS) response to such stimuli. (March 2018)
Group Tai Chi class
New research suggests practicing tai chi is a therapeutic option for people with fibromyalgia. (March 2018)
Music senior and child
Collaborative workshop – the Sound Health initiative – convened by the National Institutes of Health and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts – focused on the use of music therapy in... (March 2018)
sickle cell
NIH-funded study offers new information on pain in sickle cell disease, the use of opioids for this pain, and psychological and quality-of-life challenges faced by people with this disease. (March 2018)
Researchers look at plant-derived natural products for new antidepressants. (February 2018)