Navigation Links
Putting the brakes on pain
Date:8/5/2013

Neuropathic pain pain that results from a malfunction in the nervous system is a daily reality for millions of Americans. Unlike normal pain, it doesn't go away after the stimulus that provoked it ends, and it also behaves in a variety of other unusual and disturbing ways. Someone suffering from neuropathic pain might experience intense discomfort from a light touch, for example, or feel as though he or she were freezing in response to a slight change in temperature.

A major part of the answer to the problem of neuropathic pain, scientists believe, is found in spinal nerve cells that release a signaling chemical known as GABA. These GABA neurons act as a sort of brake on pain impulses; it's thought that when they die or are disabled the pain system goes out of control. If GABA neurons could be kept alive and healthy after peripheral nerve or tissue injury, it's possible that neuropathic pain could be averted.

Now, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers have found a way to, at least partially, accomplish this objective. The key, they determined, is stemming the biochemical assault by reactive oxygen species that are generated in the wake of nerve injury.

"GABA neurons are particularly susceptible to oxidative stress, and we hypothesized that reactive oxygen species contribute to neuropathic sensitization by promoting the loss of GABA neurons as well as hindering GABA functions," said UTMB professor Jin Mo Chung, senior author of a paper on the research now online in the journal Pain.

To test this hypothesis and determine whether GABA neurons could be saved the researchers conducted a series of experiments in mice that had been surgically altered to simulate the conditions of neuropathic pain. In one key experiment, mice treated with an antioxidant compound for a week after surgery were compared with untreated mice. The antioxidant mice showed less pain-associated behavior and were found to have far more GABA neurons than the untreated mice.

"So by giving the antioxidant we lowered the pain behavior, and when we look at the spinal cords we see the GABA neuron population is almost the same as normal," Chung said. "That suggested we prevented those neurons from dying, which is a big thing."

One complication, Chung noted, is a "moderate quantitative mismatch" between the behavioral data and the GABA-neuron counts. While the anti-oxidant mice displayed less pain behavior, their behavioral improvement wasn't as substantial as their high number of GABA neurons would suggest. One possibility is that the surviving neurons were somehow impaired a hypothesis supported by electrophysiological data.

Although no clinical trials are planned in the immediate future, Chung believes anti-oxidants have great potential as a treatment for neuropathic pain. "If this is true and it works in humans well, any time you can salvage neurons, it's a good thing," he said. "Neuropathic pain is very difficult to treat, and I think this is a possibility, a good possibility."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Kelly
jpkelly@utmb.edu
409-772-8791
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. San Diego-based Nuspine Gains National Appeal and Rave Reviews, Putting a New Twist on Relieving Back Pain with its All-Natural Revolutionary Training Program
2. Austerity cuts to Spanish healthcare system are putting lives at risk
3. Enter the 2013 Putting Our Heads Together Migraine and Headache Poetry Contest Sponsored by Help for Headaches and Migraine Now
4. Putting it All on the Line to Create Jobs for Youth
5. Putting malaria on the SHELPH
6. Putting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans into Action: Behavior-Directed messages to Motivate Parents Published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
7. Putting our heads together: Canines may hold clues to human skull development
8. Putting the squeeze on cells
9. Putting electronic cigarettes to the test
10. Putting Your Mental Health in Order
11. Study Recommends Putting Your Left Face Forward
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... which specializes in thought leadership , media relations, social media, content marketing ... that will be powered through Act-On, an intuitive marketing automation platform. , Rosica ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Boston, MA (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 ... ... Education and Department of Justice jointly issued a letter to withdraw ... in accordance with their gender identity. The guidance issued in May 2016 by ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Hill, NC (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... Platinum Sponsor for ACPA’s 74th Annual Meeting. KLS is a longtime supporter of ... 2017 as an exhibitor and Platinum Sponsor," said Dr. Bob Havlik, 2017 ACPA President. ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... an approved content provider for the National Institute for Health and Care ... social care-related organizations in the National Health Service (NHS) to search, order and ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... and uncertainty in clinical trials, today announced that Premier Research, a leading clinical ... solution. , Clinical trials are becoming increasingly complex, due in part to an ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... Limited, ( ASX: ITD ), an innovative diversified healthcare company, is ... December 2016 compared with the previous corresponding period. A full "Results ... . Highlights Profit after ... Earnings per share of 2.2 cents (Dec 2015: 1.2 cents; up ... 11%) Profit before tax of $2.12m (Dec 2015: ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Menopause ... ... Drugs Price Analysis and Strategies - 2016, provides drug pricing data and ... questions: What are the key drugs marketed ... Global Menopause market? What are the unit prices and ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... 2016" report to their offering. ... The latest research Oesophageal Cancer Drugs Price ... in the global Oesophageal Cancer market. The research answers ... key drugs marketed for Oesophageal Cancer and their clinical attributes? How ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: