Genetically modified rodents may hold the key to all your pain woes. For people who have a very low threshold for pain, the presence of an ouch moment is always a problem. Well time to thank science again since it has now found that genetically modified mice could tell you all you need to know about making pain a little less… well painful!
How To Control Pain?
The University College London was recently behind an interesting piece of research involving and pain. For both people and our furry white rodents, pain travels through nerve cell membranes via channels before it eventually ends up in the nervous system. The study from UCL has found that high levels of opioid peptides, which are essentially short amino acid sequences that bind to opioid receptors, can lead to a mutation that allows people to feel no pain.
In its news release the university has outlined this very fact and went onto outline how they ended up focusing on Nav1.7, which is the channel hat people feel pain through, and how opiod peptides affect pain. The study involved giving an opioid blocker (if they lacked Nav1.7) and the results showed that it gave the the ability to feel pain again.
It’s All In The Genes: Genetically Modified Mice Tell Us How To Control Pain!
The same process was repeated on a woman that had a mutation that did not allow her to feel pain and she too was able to experience the sensation. The 39 year old woman, and the , have helped outline some very interesting things about pain.
The peptides could be instrumental in helping treat chronic pain conditions. “After a decade of rather disappointing drug trials, we now have confirmation that Nav1.7 really is a key element in human pain,” Professor John Wood, senior author from UCL, said through the release.
“The secret ingredient turned out to be good old-fashioned opioid peptides, and we have now filed a patent for combining low dose opioids with Nav1.7 blockers. This should replicate the painlessness experienced by people with rare mutations, and we have already successfully tested this approach in unmodified .”
Previous solutions of a similar nature have been used as local anesthetics but did not produce long term results. They also came with the baggage of serious side effects when they were used often. However, opioid pain reducers, like morphine for instance, work great to reduce pain – but end up making an addict out of the person they are helping. As the body begins to get used to these substances it often stop responding to smaller doses and requires a continual upping the ante of sorts in terms of dosage.
The study hopes to replicate the testing that it conducted on a larger scale on many different people as early as 2017. It could then lead to the development of medication that could help millions of people that suffer from chronic pain issues globally.
The study, which can be found at Nature Communications, helped give chronic pain sufferers some hope. One more reason to say thank you to science (and ).