Navigation Links
UC scientists awarded $1.7 million for low back pain research
Date:1/29/2008

CINCINNATIThe National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has awarded $1.7 million to University of Cincinnati (UC) anesthesiology researchers to study a condition that costs Americans $50 billion a yearlow back pain.

Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans younger than 45 years old and is experienced by 50 to 80 percent of adults at some point in their lives. Back pain becomes chronic if it persists for more than three months and the cause can sometimes be difficult to determine.

The UC researchers are focusing their five-year study on inflammation and how its effects on sensory neurons in the low back cause persistent chronic pain.

The team, led by Jun-Ming Zhang, MD, director of UCs Pain Research Center, believes small molecules called chemokines are key factors in the development of pain. Chemokines are a family of small cytokineschemical messenger molecules used by immune and nerve cells to communicate with other cells.

If we can determine the role these chemokines play in the development of back pain we can hopefully develop better medications to treat the problem, says Zhang.

Zhang says acute (short-term) pain can actually be beneficial. Acute pain responses to potentially dangerous stimulilike the neural circuitry that tells you to pull your hand away from a hot stoveare essential for survival, says Zhang.

But when pain becomes chronic, it serves no useful purpose, he says, and often affects a persons quality of life.

Back pain can be caused by physical trauma such as a sports injury, lifting heavy items or from a car accident, Zhang explains. For others, medical conditions such as a herniated disc cause pain. But many people experience back pain for no apparent reason.

When a patient goes to the doctor for low back pain, they may undergo an MRI or an X-ray. Sometimes these tests show anatomical reasons for the pain such as a herniated disc. But for some patients, tests dont show any physical evidence for why they are experiencing low back pain, he says.

Zhang adds that the lack of physical evidence can be very frustrating for patients and make it more difficult for doctors to help a patient effectively manage their pain through medication and other treatment therapies.

Thats why we hope to identify specific molecules that contribute to low back pain development. Our goal is to develop a non-opiod analgesic targeting those molecules to alleviate pain, says Zhang.

In previous research, Zhang and his team, including Judith Strong, PhD, co-investigator for the new study, found that pain-sensing neurons can become abnormally sensitive or fire spontaneously in the absence of stimuli. This early spontaneous activity plays a key role in setting up the pathological pain state.

We found that by blocking the early spontaneous activity of an injured nerve we can completely prevent the development of chronic pain. This technique could be extremely useful for combat nerve injuries and amputations that often lead chronic pain, he says.

In the new study, the team will explore how inflammation may contribute to the development of low back pain by intentionally causing this abnormal neuronal firing.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jamie Kaun
jamie.kaun@uc.edu
513-558-4625
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists explore factors contributing to DNA mutations
2. CIHR news: U of S scientists find plant gene that affects stress resistance
3. Scientists use nanomaterials to localize and control drug delivery
4. Scientists identify genes linked to lupus in women
5. Scripps research scientists find new genetic mutation that halts the development of lupus
6. Jefferson scientists uncover role of cancer stem cell marker: controlling gene expression
7. Jefferson scientists find protein helps pancreatic cancer cells evade immune system and spread
8. 2 Hebrew University scientists awarded Wolf Prizes
9. UCLA scientists restore walking after spinal cord injury
10. Scientists Report Refinements to Brain Surgery
11. Jefferson scientists find protein potential drug target for treatment-resistant prostate cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... ... A newly released report reveals that improving life outcomes for boys and ... face-to-face interactions and online. In “Heard, Not Judged – Insights into the Talents, Realities ... mobile digital devices can be an effective tool to help boys and men of ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... ... Growing in popularity, more and more people continue to live their lives ... Whether someone chooses to cut gluten out of their life for personal health reasons ... their shelves with many different gluten-free products all year round. And they take another ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... American Gene Technologies International, ... to its board of directors. Otterstatter is co-founder, president and CEO of ... innovations that lead to broad-based healthcare solutions. , “Jon knows how to create ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Tuesday, May 24, Women's Excellence in Wellness, powered by ... Living Essential Oils, taught by Patti Dolan, RYT, a Young Living Gold Member. ... is 6:30pm - 7:15pm followed by a small intro to the Oils that can ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... As reported by MassGeneral.org, on May 8 – 9, ... United States . The 64-year-old patient who received the transplant had undergone a partial ... only a natural appearance, but also urinary and sexual function for the patient who ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... 2016 According to market ... Growth and Demand Forecast to 2022 - Industry ... Application (Drug Discovery and Development, Proteomics, Clinical Testing, ... Science and Biotechnology, Academic and Research Institute, Hospitals ... global mass spectrometry market was valued ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... , May 23, 2016 Non-invasive ... detection of multiple diseases; ,Technology to be presented at ... Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University ... a research agreement with Aurum Ventures MKI, the technology investment ... of a new diagnostic approach for early detection of ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... FRANCISCO , May 23, 2016 ... to reach USD 5.0 billion by 2022, according to ... increasing generation of medical waste coupled with the lack ... industry is expected to drive the demand for reprocessed ... these devices as compared to that of the original ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: