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

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."


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

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