Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pain treatments less effective for those with irritable bowel

Date:
August 20, 2014
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
The immune system is defective in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, which is a major reason why sufferers have ongoing issues with pain, researchers say. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to 10% of the community. There are different forms of IBS but all of them involve unexplained gut pain, which often has the greatest impact on sufferers' quality of life.

University of Adelaide researchers have discovered that the immune system is defective in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, which is a major reason why sufferers have ongoing issues with pain.

The research -- the first of its kind in the world -- could also help to explain why some painkillers may not offer satisfactory relief to sufferers.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to 10% of the community. There are different forms of IBS but all of them involve unexplained gut pain, which often has the greatest impact on sufferers' quality of life.

Scientists in the University's Nerve-Gut Research Laboratory have now demonstrated the mechanisms involved, and the differences between the immune pain response in healthy people and those suffering from IBS. The results of their work have been published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

"This study is the first to give us a real understanding of the interaction between the immune system and pain symptoms in IBS patients," says lead author Dr Patrick Hughes, NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellow with the University's School of Medicine.

"The gut contains specialised immune cells, known as monocytes and macrophages. Our research has shown that in healthy people, these immune cells normally secrete opioid chemicals, like morphine, that block pain. But in people with IBS, the opioid production by these cells is defective," he says.

"So it's no wonder that people with IBS are experiencing ongoing periods of unexplained pain. And if the immune system is defective, it may also mean that painkilling medications taken by the patient to relieve their symptoms are not being adequately converted to pain relief."

The research involved samples from more than 100 people, half of them healthy and half suffering from IBS.

Dr Hughes says the exact cause of pain in IBS sufferers remains unknown, "but we have now confirmed, and detailed, information about the important role of the immune system in this pain response."

"It's our hope that this work could eventually lead to more targeted treatments for IBS sufferers, to help treat or prevent the long-term pain they experience," he says.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Patrick A. Hughes, Melissa Moretta, Amanda Lim, Dallas J. Grasby, Daniel Bird, Stuart M. Brierley, Tobias Liebregts, Birgit Adam, L. Ashley Blackshaw, Gerald Holtmann, Peter Bampton, Peter Hoffmann, Jane M. Andrews, Heddy Zola, Doreen Krumbiegel. Immune derived opioidergic inhibition of viscerosensory afferents is decreased in Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2014.07.001

Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Pain treatments less effective for those with irritable bowel." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820164024.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2014, August 20). Pain treatments less effective for those with irritable bowel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820164024.htm
University of Adelaide. "Pain treatments less effective for those with irritable bowel." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820164024.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
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