Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Identification Of Brain Areas Could Help Eliminate Side Effects Of Pain Medication

Date:
May 13, 1998
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Researchers at Penn State's College of Medicine have identified a set of neurons in the brain that may contribute to some of the undesirable side effects of pain medication.

Hershey, Pa. --- Researchers at Penn State's College of Medicine have identified a set of neurons in the brain that may contribute to some of the undesirable side effects of pain medication.

Related Articles


"Opioids such as morphine and morphine-like drugs still comprise the major tool for the clinical management of pain even though the drugs can have some very serious side effects," explains Ralph Lydic, Ph.D., professor of anesthesia. "This discovery means we have specifically targeted an area in the brain and a molecule that causes side effects from pain medication. We want to try and eliminate these side effects of pain medication by building another molecule to tag onto the opioid molecule. This way the opioid could block the pain, and this new molecule could prevent the side effects."

Specifically, Lydic and his team have discovered that this set of neurons may account for morphine's ability to decrease brain production of acetylcholine, a chemical known to be essential for normal rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Often after surgery, patients have disrupted REM sleep because of pain medication. Lydic explains that REM sleep is the dreaming phase of sleep and is essential for feeling rested. Everyone has REM sleep each night, even if we do not remember our dreams. REM sleep occurs about every 90 minutes and lasts for about 20 minutes.

"We think this is a very exciting discovery. We are trying to identify specific cells in the brain where we know brain-produced chemicals have been altered because of the pain medication administered," explains Lydic. Other common side effects from pain medications can include respiratory depression, itching, constipation, urinary retention and addiction.

The Penn State researcher says the team is trying to understand brain mechanisms that regulate consciousness as they try to improve pain control and anesthesia safety. He adds, "The discovery of anesthesia is only about 150 years old, and it is important to remember that for no anesthetic or opioid do we know exactly how these drugs work to eliminate wakefulness and block the perception of pain."

Steve Mortazavi, M.D., an anesthesia resident working with Lydic, presented the work titled "Morphine Sulfate Inhibits Acetylcholine (Ach) Release in Pontine Reticular Regions Modulating Arousal, Breathing, and Pain," this week at the annual Association of University Anesthesiologists meeting in San Francisco. Other colleagues who worked on this project include Janel Thompson, and Helen Baghdoyan, Ph.D., associate professor of anesthesia and pharmacology.

This work is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and by the Department of Anesthesia at Penn State's College of Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Identification Of Brain Areas Could Help Eliminate Side Effects Of Pain Medication." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980513075943.htm>.
Penn State. (1998, May 13). Identification Of Brain Areas Could Help Eliminate Side Effects Of Pain Medication. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980513075943.htm
Penn State. "Identification Of Brain Areas Could Help Eliminate Side Effects Of Pain Medication." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980513075943.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) According to a report from the CDC, suicide rates among young women increased from 1994 to 2012 while rates among young men have decreased. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) Liberia&apos;s last Ebola patient has been released, and the country hasn&apos;t recorded a new case in a week. However, fears of another outbreak still exist. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Mobile apps are turning smartphones into a personal doctors, with users able to measure heart rate, blood pressure and even blood sugar. But will it change our behaviour? Ivor Bennett reports from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins