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.

"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 July 23, 2014 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 July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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