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SocialMed: A Brain-Pain Connection

MedPageToday, 2012

As research reveals more about the link between the brain and the immune system, there's a greater need for neuroscientists and immunologists to communicate, according to a new website.
Immune pathways have recently been targeted in a range of neurological conditions, from to , and glial cells -- the brain's macrophages that clean up neurological debris -- appear to play an especially important role.
Speaking at the 2012 American Academy of Pain Medicine meeting in Palm Springs, Calif., Linda Watkins, PhD, of the University of Colorado at Boulder, said that neuroscientists, and pain specialists in particular, have "ignored immunology, and immunologists have ignored pain, and that has to end.
The site is largely a repository for the latest in clinical and basic research on how the brain and the immune system communicate.
It also offers references on the fundamental aspects of brain-pain interactions and regulatory pathways.
While the site is not a social network (there isn't even a "forums" section), its stated goal is to facilitate research, communication, and collaboration among specialists from both fields.
The site's editorial structure resembles that of a journal rather than a social media start-up, as it's managed by an editor, two assistant editors, and a long list of advisory board members from the U.S.
Fleshing out its current infrastructure to include a social networking aspect may move neuroscience and immunology a step closer to the intertwining that Watkins and other researchers are calling for.
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