Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unexpected source for diabetic neuropathy pain

Date:
May 15, 2012
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Nearly half of all diabetics suffer from neuropathic pain, an intractable, agonizing and still mysterious companion of the disease. Now researchers have identified an unexpected source of the pain and a potential target to alleviate it.

Normal dendritic spines — microscopic projections on the receiving branches of nerve cells — are shown at top compared to those of diabetic rat. At bottom, spines after receiving treatment. Yale study suggests that neuropathic pain associated with diabetes may be caused by reshaping of these spines in nerve cells, and might be treated by drugs.
Credit: Image courtesy of Yale University

Nearly half of all diabetics suffer from neuropathic pain, an intractable, agonizing and still mysterious companion of the disease. Now Yale researchers have identified an unexpected source of the pain and a potential target to alleviate it.

A team of researchers from Yale and the West Haven Veterans Affairs Medical Center describes in the May 15 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience how changes in the structure of dendritic spines -- microscopic projections on the receiving branches of nerve cells -- are associated with pain in laboratory rats with diabetes.

"How diabetes leads to neuropathic pain is still a mystery," said Andrew Tan, an associate research scientist in neurology at the Yale School of Medicine and lead author of the study. "An interesting line of study is based on the idea that neuropathic pain is due to faulty 'rewiring' of pain circuitry."

With a growing number of diabetics, the condition represents a huge unmet medical need. Once neuropathic pain is established, it is a lifelong condition.

"Here we reveal that these dendritic spines, first studied in memory circuit processing, also contribute to the sensation of pain in diabetes," Tan said. A single neuron may contain hundreds to thousands of dendritic spines.

The Yale team led by Tan and senior author Dr. Stephen G. Waxman, the Bridget Marie Flaherty Professor of Neurology, professor of neurobiology and pharmacology,found abnormal dendritic spines were associated with the onset and maintenance of pain. They also found that a drug that interferes with formation of these spines reduced pain in lab animals, suggesting that targeting abnormal spines could be a therapeutic strategy.

Tan said that these dendritic spines in nerve cells seem to store memory of pain, just as they are crucial in memory and learning in the human brain.

"We have identified a single, key molecule that controls structural changes in these spines and hopefully we can develop therapeutic approaches that target that molecule and reduce diabetic pain," Waxman said.

Other authors on the paper are Omar A. Samad, Tanya Z. Fischer, Peng Zhao and Anna-Karin Persson,

The research was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. The original article was written by Bill Hathaway. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. M. Tan, O. A. Samad, T. Z. Fischer, P. Zhao, A.-K. Persson, S. G. Waxman. Maladaptive Dendritic Spine Remodeling Contributes to Diabetic Neuropathic Pain. Journal of Neuroscience, 2012; 32 (20): 6795 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1017-12.2012

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Unexpected source for diabetic neuropathy pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120515203056.htm>.
Yale University. (2012, May 15). Unexpected source for diabetic neuropathy pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120515203056.htm
Yale University. "Unexpected source for diabetic neuropathy pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120515203056.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. 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