Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New way to treat chronic pain, suggested by study

Date:
March 26, 2012
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
Gene that encodes crucial pain receptor may be the key to individualizing therapy for a major health problem.

Nearly one in five people suffers from the insidious and often devastating problem of chronic pain.

Related Articles


That the problem persists, and is growing, is striking given the many breakthroughs in understanding the basic biology of pain over the past two decades. A major challenge for treating chronic pain is to understand why certain people develop pain while others, with apparently similar disorders or injuries, do not. An equally important challenge is to develop individualized therapies that will be effective in specific patient populations.

Research published online in Nature Medicine points to solutions to both challenges. A research team led by Prof. Jeffrey Mogil of McGill University in Montreal and Prof. Michael Salter of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), affiliated with the University of Toronto, has identified a major gene affecting chronic pain sensitivity. The findings also suggest a new approach to individualizing treatment of chronic pain.

The gene that the researchers identified encodes the pain receptor known as P2X7. Specifically, the scientists discovered that a single amino-acid change in P2X7 controls sensitivity to the two main causes of chronic pain: inflammation and nerve damage.

The amino-acid change is known to affect only one function of P2X7 receptors -- the forming of pores that permit large molecules to pass through -- while leaving intact the other function, of allowing much tinier ions to flow through. Using a peptide that targets pore formation only, the researchers found that pain behaviours were dramatically reduced.

The scientists then examined genetic differences among human patients suffering from two distinct types of persistent pain: chronic post-mastectomy pain and osteoarthritis. In both cases, they found that individuals with genetically inherited low pore formation in P2X7 receptors experienced lower pain levels.

"Our findings indicate that it may be possible to develop drugs that block pores in this crucial receptor, while leaving its other function intact -- thereby killing pain while minimizing side effects," said Prof. Mogil, E.P. Taylor Professor of Pain Research in McGill's Department of Psychology.

Prof. Salter, Anne and Max Tanenbaum Chair in Molecular Medicine at SickKids, said these discoveries "point toward a new strategy for individualizing the treatment of chronic pain." Scientists from the U.S. and Israel also contributed to the study.

The study was supported by the Krembil Foundation, the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and SickKids Foundation.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Robert E Sorge, Tuan Trang, Ruslan Dorfman, Shad B Smith, Simon Beggs, Jennifer Ritchie, Jean-Sebastien Austin, Dmitri V Zaykin, Heather Vander Meulen, Michael Costigan, Teri A Herbert, Merav Yarkoni-Abitbul, David Tichauer, Jessica Livneh, Edith Gershon, Ming Zheng, Keith Tan, Sally L John, Gary D Slade, Joanne Jordan, Clifford J Woolf, Gary Peltz, William Maixner, Luda Diatchenko, Ze'ev Seltzer, Michael W Salter, Jeffrey S Mogil. Genetically determined P2X7 receptor pore formation regulates variability in chronic pain sensitivity. Nature Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nm.2710

Cite This Page:

McGill University. "New way to treat chronic pain, suggested by study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120326132539.htm>.
McGill University. (2012, March 26). New way to treat chronic pain, suggested by study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120326132539.htm
McGill University. "New way to treat chronic pain, suggested by study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120326132539.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The British ship RFA ARGUS arrived in Sierra Leone to deliver supplies and equipment to help the fight against Ebola. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
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