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Ron ‘gate control theory’ Melzack – short film



The 2024 Global Year will examine what is known about sex and gender differences in pain perception and modulation and address sex-and gender-related disparities in both the research and treatment of pain.

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Diane Jacobs and David Fluecke put us onto this. It is a short doco-style film on Ron Melzack, who is half of Melzack and Wall – the authors of the famous Gate Control Theory paper in Science in 1965.  It remains the most influential paper in pain science and I reckon deservedly so. It laid the platform for a cacophony of research into modulation of nociception at the dorsal horn, into the distinction between pain and nociception, into the role of psychological factors, social factors, environmental – well ANY factors other than peripheral noxious input, in pain.  It is no longer sufficient to explain pain, but that is what theories are for – to spark a revolution and to force scientists to new levels of technical sophistication and innovative paradigms to prove it wrong. So, do yourself a favour and watch this film.


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