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:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... An educational campaign aimed at everyone ... courtesy of awareness-driven celebrities and thought leaders. It also provides insight to the ... leaders such as Bioness. , As patients feel increasingly concerned about the ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... scholarships to students studying complementary medicine. Allison Outerbridge is this year’s Life ... award on May 18 at the university’s Student Leadership Awards ceremony. , Outerbridge ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Cabot Corporation, ... defective respirators, according to court documents and SEC filings. A jury has ... Tyler v. American Optical Corporation, Case No. BC588866, Los Angeles County, California. The ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Woodlands at John Knox Village , Florida’s first ... for living and healing, celebrated its grand opening, today. The Woodlands at John Knox ... by Empowered Staff. , “This is an incredibly fulfilling time for John Knox Village ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Dr. James Maisel will ... Long Island Chapter on June 4, 2016, 1:30-3:30 pm at the Farmingdale Public ... Retina Group of New York , is a Board Certified ophthalmologist who ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 ARANZ Medical  Ltd ... healthcare sector, has been named the Coretex Hi-Tech Emerging Company ... Dr Bruce Davey , CEO of ARANZ ...  It,s really good to be recognised for the work we ... are used in 35 countries around the world from Sub-Saharan ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... BioMarketing as senior vice president of sales, announced Andrea Heslin Smiley , VMS ... company,s business development and sales team, exploring new opportunities for VMS to empower patients ... ... ... ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... May 24, 2016 ... , la première endoprothèse à double ... à l,intervention portant sur les membres inférieurs ... OrbusNeich, entreprise mondiale spécialisée dans la ... la vie, a élargi son portefeuille pour ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: