Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cooling Analgesia Harnessed To Relieve Chronic Pain

Date:
August 27, 2006
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
By experimentally activating a special protein involved in mediating sensations of coolness, researchers have made a breakthrough in understanding how the body's nervous system can be stimulated to relieve chronic pain. The findings are reported by a team led by Susan Fleetwood-Walker and Rory Mitchell of University of Edinburgh and appear in the August 22 issue of the journal Current Biology, published by Cell Press.

By experimentally activating a special protein involved in mediating sensations of coolness, researchers have made a breakthrough in understanding how the body's nervous system can be stimulated to relieve chronic pain. The findings are reported by a team led by Susan Fleetwood-Walker and Rory Mitchell of University of Edinburgh and appear in the August 22nd issue of the journal Current Biology, published by Cell Press.

Ancient Greek physicians knew of the benefits of cooling to relieve pain, and many traditional remedies use mint oil for relieving pain, but it is only now, in the 21st century, that a mechanism for such analgesic effects has been identified.

In their new work, the researchers looked for ways to relieve chronic pain in rats, and they found that certain cooling chemicals, either injected or simply applied in small doses to the skin, have a dramatic natural painkilling effect. The researchers showed that the analgesic effect occurs through activation of a recently identified protein, called TRPM8, that is expressed in nerve cells in the skin and responds to both cool temperatures and cooling chemicals, such as the active ingredients in mint.

TRPM8 belongs to an interesting class of proteins whose members mediate the sensation of diverse stimuli, including taste, temperature, and touch.

Approaches using cooling compounds that activate the TRPM8 protein could be used for chronic pain patients--for example, in treating neuropathic pain and arthritis in cases where conventional painkillers have little effect or are of limited use as a result of side effects. Such therapies would make use of the body's own capacity to suppress pain. The discovery of a novel biological mechanism by which cooling analgesia works therefore has great potential for relieving the suffering of millions of chronic pain patients.

The researchers include Clare J. Proudfoot, Emer M. Garry, David F. Cottrell, Roberta Rosie, Heather Anderson, Darren C. Robertson, and Susan M. Fleetwood-Walker of University of Edinburgh, Summerhall in Edinburgh, UK; Rory Mitchell of University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, UK.

This work was supported by Wellcome Trust grants to S.F.-W. and R.M. and a Medical Research Council (MRC) Studentship to C.P.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Cooling Analgesia Harnessed To Relieve Chronic Pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060826171655.htm>.
Cell Press. (2006, August 27). Cooling Analgesia Harnessed To Relieve Chronic Pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060826171655.htm
Cell Press. "Cooling Analgesia Harnessed To Relieve Chronic Pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060826171655.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Now a new approach to rejection of donor organs could change the way doctors predict transplant rejection…without expensive, invasive procedures. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Better Braces That Vibrate

Better Braces That Vibrate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) The length of time you have to keep your braces on could be cut in half thanks to a new device that speeds up the process. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new app that can track your heart rate 24/7 is available for download in your app store and its convenience could save your life. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. 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:
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