Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A Peptide Whose Absence Leads To Narcolepsy Also Might Play Role In Pain Sensation

Date:
February 5, 2002
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
A neuropeptide whose loss is believed responsible for narcolepsy, a disease characterized by sudden sleep attacks, also appears to play a role in the modulation of pain sensation, a study by a Yale researcher has found.

New Haven, Conn. – A neuropeptide whose loss is believed responsible for narcolepsy, a disease characterized by sudden sleep attacks, also appears to play a role in the modulation of pain sensation, a study by a Yale researcher has found.

The findings, published as the cover story in the January issue of the Journal of Physiology, offers a new direction in the control of pain, particularly in spinal cord injuries where pain is a substantial problem, said Anthony van den Pol, professor of neurosurgery at Yale School of Medicine and co-author of the study. Collaborators in the study were Ed Perl and Tim Grudt from the University of North Carolina.

The researchers’ findings indicate that hypocretin neurons from the hypothalamus establish direct connections with the spinal cord and hypocretin changes the electrical activity of nerve cells in the dorsal part of the spinal cord that are involved in pain perception. The hypothalamus is generally considered to be an area of the brain that regulates eating, drinking, sleeping, waking, body temperature, chemical balances, heart rate, hormones, sex and emotions.

"We found that most cells in a region of the spinal cord responsible for detecting pain show a significant physiological response to the peptide hypocretin-2," said van den Pol.

It was van den Pol’s laboratory, along with colleagues at Stanford University and the Scripps Institute, that first described this new hypothalamic neurotransmitter in 1998. Subsequent studies showed that narcolepsy was caused by the selective neurodegeneration of the hypocretin system. Prior to that finding, narcolepsy was sometimes blamed on laziness or indistinct mental problems.

Van den Pol said the new findings show that in addition to hypocretin’s role in enhancing arousal, the neurotransmitter may also modulate pain sensation.

He said more work is needed to establish the specific role of hypocretin in altering sensory input that includes pain and temperature sensation. In the future, new drugs related to hypocretin may prove useful in the treatment and reduction of pain.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "A Peptide Whose Absence Leads To Narcolepsy Also Might Play Role In Pain Sensation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020204075039.htm>.
Yale University. (2002, February 5). A Peptide Whose Absence Leads To Narcolepsy Also Might Play Role In Pain Sensation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020204075039.htm
Yale University. "A Peptide Whose Absence Leads To Narcolepsy Also Might Play Role In Pain Sensation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020204075039.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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