Medicine: Attack on Pain

"The relief of pain is obviously one of the main functions of physicians," Boston Psychiatrist Frank Ervin noted last week, then added: "Ironically, it's one of the things we do least well—partly because we don't understand it." But Dr. Ervin is one of a Massachusetts General Hospital research team that is using ultramodern brain surgery both to subdue the severest forms of pain and to learn more about pain's mechanisms.

Several diseases, of which cancer is the commonest, sometimes produce pain so continuous and intense that the most potent narcotics will not relieve...

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