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:12/5/2016)... , ... December 05, 2016 , ... ... Plastic Surgery, is excited to announce the arrival of the newest Sciton laser ... with the ability to use tunable non-ablative and ablative wavelengths for exceptional results. ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... SyncDog, Inc., the leading ... magazine, a leading online tech news platform connecting technology innovators with news, experience, ... explores the state of enterprise mobility security today, and how the SyncDog SentinelSecure™ ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... Worldwise ®, a leading consumer ... kathy ireland® Worldwide for five additional years, announced by Kevin Fick, Worldwise CEO. ... agreement three years ago to design and develop the kathy ireland® Loved Ones™ ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... Physicians Education Resource®, ... International Congress on Hematologic Malignancies®: Focus on Leukemias, Lymphomas, and Myeloma, on February ... are honored to have Amy E. Herman present at this year’s conference, her ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... , ... December 05, 2016 , ... BSI and Brenntag ... United States and Canada for distribution of their natural fruits and beverage ... is an exciting addition to our Life Sciences product portfolio,” said Steve Brauer, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... Dec. 5, 2016   Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: ... company, today announced that it received a perfect score ... (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate ... transgender (LGBT) workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights ... major U.S. businesses which also earned top marks this ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... , Dec. 5, 2016 Special purpose needles are ... such as fluid and cells from organs or lumps and ... and sizes. The global market for special purpose needles is ... In terms of revenue, the global special purpose needles market ... the forecast period (2016–2026) and is expected to be valued ...
(Date:12/5/2016)...   Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... 2 clinical study of sotagliflozin, a dual SGLT1 and ... the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research. ... trial, which randomized a total of 87 patients, was ... dose of sotagliflozin compared to a placebo control in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: