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 July 25, 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. 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