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Soldiers with certain gene variations more likely to develop chronic pain after amputation

Date:
October 14, 2013
Source:
American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)
Summary:
Researchers have identified hundreds of variants in a patient’s DNA sequence or genetic code that predict which military service members are more likely to develop persistent, chronic pain after amputation.

Researchers have identified hundreds of variants in a patient's DNA sequence or genetic code that predict which military service members are more likely to develop persistent, chronic pain after amputation, according to a study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2013 annual meeting.

From 2000 to 2011, there were 6,144 amputations among 5,694 injured service members, according to the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center. More than one-third had major amputations, defined as the loss of a hand, foot or more.

"Traumatic amputations of limbs profoundly change the lives of affected military service members," said Andrew D. Shaw, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C. "Persistent pain after amputation is a serious problem with no effective treatments. By identifying these 'pain genes,' we may be able to discover the reasons why pain occurs and predict which patients are more likely to have it. In the future, we hope to discover the biology of persistent pain and develop ways to combat it."

In the study, blood was collected for DNA, RNA and plasma extraction from 49 service members who had amputations and persistent pain. These blood samples were then mapped using Exome Sequencing technology to identify any variations the military service members have in common.

Hundreds of new DNA sequence variations previously unknown were identified as pathways of biological importance as the possible source of chronic, persistent pain for service members, according to the study.

"This is one of the first studies where 'pain genes' have been identified in humans using next-generation sequencing," explained Dr. Shaw. "We have known about some of them in lab studies. Now that we have identified these gene variations, we need to study them and then create new medicines to prevent and relieve the chronic pain for these patients."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). "Soldiers with certain gene variations more likely to develop chronic pain after amputation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131014113734.htm>.
American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). (2013, October 14). Soldiers with certain gene variations more likely to develop chronic pain after amputation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131014113734.htm
American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). "Soldiers with certain gene variations more likely to develop chronic pain after amputation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131014113734.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

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