Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Science behind the Title IGNORE THE PAIN

Miners in the silver mines of Potosí, Bolivia carry little food or water into the mines. In order to endure the pain caused by thirst, hunger, and heavy exertion at a high altitude (13,000 feet), they chew coca leaves.

The active ingredients in coca leaves and its derivative cocaine are not analgesics; they do not dull pain. They are stimulants that raise extracellular concentrations of neurotransmitters, which in turn increase transmission of other stimuli along nerves. The net result is users of coca leaves can ignore pain better.

Hence I titled my new medical thriller Ignore the Pain.

In Ignore the Pain, Sara Almquist, the heroine, agrees to leave her home near Albuquerque and be an epidemiology consultant for a public health mission assessing children’s health in Bolivia. Such an assignments is realistic because 6.5% of the children born in Bolivia die before five years of age. That’s a big improvement; in 1990, 12.5% died before five years of age.

Now back to the story. Soon someone from Sara’s past is chasing her through the Witches’ Market and across the roof of Iglesia de San Francisco in La Paz. Unfortunately, she can’t trust her new colleagues because anyone of them might be under the control of the coca industry in Bolivia.

But that’s not all the pain in Ignore the Pain. Sara’s quieter sister Linda, besides worrying about Sara, is managing problems in the newly created Pain Management Center in the medical school in Albuquerque.

So ignore the pain of eating too much and generally overindulging during the holidays and read Ignore the Pain http://www.amazon.com/Ignore-Pain-J-L-Greger/dp/1610091310/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385498311&sr=1-1&keywords=Ignore+the+Pain