Navigation Links
Electric stimulation of brain releases powerful, opiate-like painkiller
Date:1/2/2013

ANN ARBORResearchers used electricity on certain regions in the brain of a patient with chronic, severe facial pain to release an opiate-like substance that's considered one of the body's most powerful painkillers.

The findings expand on previous work done at the University of Michigan, Harvard University and the City University of New York where researchers delivered electricity through sensors on the skulls of chronic migraine patients, and found a decrease in the intensity and pain of their headache attacks. However, the researchers then couldn't completely explain how or why.

The current findings help explain what happens in the brain that decreases pain during the brief sessions of electricity, says Alexandre DaSilva, assistant professor of biologic and materials sciences at the U-M School of Dentistry and director of the school's Headache & Orofacial Pain Effort Lab.

In their current study, DaSilva and colleagues intravenously administered a radiotracer that reached important brain areas in a patient with trigeminal neuropathic pain (TNP), a type of chronic, severe facial pain. They applied the electrodes and electrically stimulated the skull right above the motor cortex of the patient for 20 minutes during a PET scan (positron emission tomography). The stimulation is called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

The radiotracer was specifically designed to measure, indirectly, the local brain release of mu-opioid, a natural substance that alters pain perception. In order for opiate to function, it needs to bind to the mu-opioid receptor (the study assessed levels of this receptor).

"This is arguably the main resource in the brain to reduce pain," DaSilva said. "We're stimulating the release of our (body's) own resources to provide analgesia. Instead of giving more pharmaceutical opiates, we are directly targeting and activating the same areas in the brain on which they work. (Therefore), we can increase the power of this pain-killing effect and even decrease the use of opiates in general, and consequently avoid their side effects, including addiction."

Most pharmaceutical opiates, especially morphine, target the mu-opioid receptors in the brain, DaSilva says.

The dose of electricity is very small, he says. Consider that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which is used to treat depression and other psychiatric conditions, uses amperage in the brain ranging from 200 to 1600 milliamperes (mA). The tDCS protocol used in DaSilva's study delivered 2 mA, considerably lower than ECT.

Just one session immediately improved the patient's threshold for cold pain by 36 percent, but not the patient's clinical, TNP/facial pain. This suggests that repetitive electrical stimulation over several sessions are required to have a lasting effect on clinical pain as shown in their previous migraine study, DaSilva says.

The manuscript appears in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry. The group just completed another study with more subjects, and the initial results seem to confirm the findings above, but further analysis is necessary.

Next, researchers will investigate long-term effects of electric stimulation on the brain and find specific targets in the brain that may be more effective depending on the pain condition and patients' status. For example, the frontal areas may be more helpful for chronic pain patients with depression symptoms.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Bailey
baileylm@umich.edu
734-647-1848
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Power generation technology based on piezoelectric nanocomposite materials developed by KAIST
2. Popularity Causing Several Week Lag In Delivery Of 'Plug In' Device To Start Saving On Electricity Between 8% and 20%
3. Avid Collector Seeks Jimi Hendrix 1968 Electric Factory Philadelphia Concert Poster
4. Electrical brain stimulation can alleviate swallowing disorders after stroke
5. Cochrane finds no reliable evidence on effectiveness of electric fans in heatwaves
6. Electric Fans May Have No Effect in Extreme Heat: Study
7. Unprecedented accuracy in locating brain electrical activity with new device
8. Electrical Brain Stimulation Curbs Epileptic Seizures in Rats
9. Electrical characteristics of printed products determined in a snap
10. New electrically-conductive polymer nanoparticles can generate heat to kill colorectal cancer cells
11. After 100 years, understanding the electrical role of dendritic spines
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/9/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 , ... ... whiteboard display solutions, proudly announced today that a new solution for Emergency Departments ... fit in the tight space in Emergency Department examination rooms, and with a ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) officially opened registration today for its ... Place Hotel in Boston, MA . , The theme of the conference is ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... CURE Media Group, the nation’s leading digital ... aligned with Upstage Lung Cancer in efforts to combat lung cancer, announced CURE Media ... Jr said, “CURE Media Group is honored to team up with Upstage Lung Cancer ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, ... ... Presence Suite 10.2 version gives development continuity to its innovative Unified Instance ... channels management capacity. In addition, this new version optimizes the unattended auto-dialing ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Today’s patients are encouraged ... in mind, SIGVARIS has created a new line of anti-embolism stockings to help ... provide the benefits of graduated compression when transitioning from recovery to early rehabilitation. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 KEY FINDINGS ... of the market in 2016 and is expected to ... attributed to a large number of surgical procedures that ... largest share in the patient temperature management market.) Patient ... reducing loss of blood during surgeries, lowering the risks ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Adhesion Type, Application, Usability - Forecast to 2025" report to ... , , ... poised to grow at a CAGR of around 3.2% from 2015 ... witnessing include advancements in extracellular microelectrode arrays and intracellular microelectrodes, research ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016  Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (NYSE: ... announced positive results from a Phase 3, multicenter ... safety and efficacy of IDP-118 (halobetasol propionate and ... Within the Phase 3 study ... psoriasis, IDP-118 showed statistical significance to vehicle with ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: