Navigation Links
UC scientists awarded $1.7 million for low back pain research

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
University of Cincinnati

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:
(Date:11/24/2015)... UT (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... It ... Magazine. For a business, it is critical that the first impression be positive and ... they are not likely to buy anything or want to return. They will also ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... their knowledge and experiences at a live taping of the next CURE ... the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers 2015 Symposium at Georgetown University Hotel & Conference ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... Aided by seed funding from the Ron Foley Foundation, researchers at Western ... how to detect and treat pancreatic cancer (PC). , WCHN researchers will focus ... (ncRNA), genetic material that is present in the blood of patients with PC. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... its exceptional customer service: the TrustDale certification. The award recognizes good companies for ... stone honing , tile and grout, and hard surface restoration company earned this ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... World Patent Marketing ... a household invention that revolutionizes the vending machine industry by providing healthy and ... worth $2 billion," says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World Patent ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: ... Oppenheimer 26th Annual Healthcare Conference on December 8, in ... Susie Lisa , vice president, Investor Relations, will participate ... beginning at approximately 8:35 a.m. ET. --> ... in a 30-minute question-and-answer session with the host analyst ...
(Date:11/24/2015)...   Renowned UAE ... s advice and insights on supplements and healthy diet ... 50% of Dubai residents are not ...   femMED launches comprehensive solutions for women , ... residents are not consuming enough to keep themselves healthy. A local ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 Abaxis, Inc. (NasdaqGS: ABAX ), ... for the medical, research, and veterinary markets worldwide, announced ... will present at the 27 th Annual Piper ... 11:30 a.m. ET. The conference will be held at ... York City . Abaxis, Inc. is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: