Department of Pharmacology
Basic Science Building, Rm. 548
15 Dana Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
Tel: (914) 594-4129
A major part of my research is conducted in collaboration with the Department of Anesthesiology at New York Medical College. We have been investigating a neuropathic pain syndrome known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy or, according to current terminology, complex regional pain syndrome. This syndrome sometimes develops in patients following apparent full recovery from trauma or surgery to the hand, wrist, foot or ankle. Our hypothesis is that in some patients, sensory pathways that conduct pain perception have become exaggerated or "supersensitive," a condition believed to be induced by catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine) and inflammatory cytokines. We have tested the clinical effects of the drug, phenoxybenzamine, on this syndrome; phenoxybenzamine is an older antihypertensive drug that can produce a long-term (non-competitive) block of some of the effects of catecholamines. The research is designed to discover ways of reversing the supersensitive state that causes this extremely painful syndrome.
A second area of research involves the use of advanced predictive analytical techniques in anticipating various treatment outcomes. A particularly strong approach is the use of “artificial neural networks” (ANN) in the prediction of outcomes from surgical or drug treatments. The advantage of ANN over linear regression analyses is that linear multivariate regression only evaluates the individual contribution of various patient factors to an outcome measure, while ANN evaluates the importance of the interactions among the variables, as well.
A third area of research relates to a long-standing concern for the dangers associated with the unregulated use of sympathomimetic agents ("food supplements" and drugs) for the treatment of obesity.