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

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.


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

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