Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Changing 'channels' to eliminate chronic pain: Researcher maps drug target to wipe pain away

Date:
May 26, 2010
Source:
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Summary:
Researchers are developing new computer-derived models of drugs that might affect chronic pain -- such as pain from backaches, sore limbs and arthritis -- which are targeted for calcium channels.

In most cases of chronic pain -- lingering pain that never seems to go away after accidents or prolonged illnesses -- no pill exists to dull the hurt. Billions of dollars are lost every year in sick days taken to alleviate chronic pain, and as much money is spent by the healthcare system to diagnose what's wrong.

Related Articles


Dr. Joel Hirsch of Tel Aviv University conducts basic research investigating calcium channels in the human body, established targets for the alleviation of chronic pain. His research, recently presented at the Biophysical Society in San Francisco, provides new information into how these channels work. His laboratory is developing computer-derived models of drugs that might affect chronic pain -- such as pain from backaches, sore limbs and arthritis -- which are targeted for calcium channels.

"We have determined structures of calcium channel components which provide a framework for drug design and targeting," Dr. Hirsch says. "There is still much to learn about calcium channels, which enable pain signals to travel from the body to the brain."

Once he and his colleagues understand the deeper mechanisms of these channels, they hope to use new drugs to modulate them "on" and "off" as needed -- and provide relief to the millions of people who suffer from the condition.

Finding where it hurts

According to the American Chronic Pain Association, chronic pain is pain that persists a month or more beyond the usual recovery period for an injury or illness. It can continue for months or years, is not always constant, but usually interferes with one's quality of life at all levels.

Three drugs on the market target calcium channels for pain indications such as Lyrica, Neurotonin and ziconitide. But they are not effective in many cases, while ziconitide requires an injection into the spine. Hence, there is a considerable need for alternative drugs.

"Calcium channels are still poorly understood, but we do know that they are also important players in pathways that cause epilepsy. Our research into neuropathy, or finding treatments for chronic pain, may yield a new class of compounds that serve multiple purposes," says Dr. Hirsch. "Our challenge is to target calcium channel modulators to specific tissues or channel types a single drug for all forms of chronic pain isn't likely.

"There are literally millions of people that already take calcium channel blockers for angina and hypertension. More research on how this family of channels works could yield a new kind of drug for a specific subfamily of these channels," Dr. Hirsch concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Friends of Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Changing 'channels' to eliminate chronic pain: Researcher maps drug target to wipe pain away." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426131557.htm>.
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. (2010, May 26). Changing 'channels' to eliminate chronic pain: Researcher maps drug target to wipe pain away. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426131557.htm
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Changing 'channels' to eliminate chronic pain: Researcher maps drug target to wipe pain away." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426131557.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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