Thursday, October 22, 2020
Home Uncategorized Secret of painless life discovered by scientists

Secret of painless life discovered by scientists

London: Scientists at University College London (UCL) have found the recipe for painlessness in a study that used genetically modified mice to show a channel responsible for allowing pain signals to pass along nerve cell membranes is vital to feeling agony.

In 2006, it was shown that sodium channel Nav1.7 is important for signalling in pain pathways and people born with non-functioning Nav1.7 do not feel pain.

UCL researchers found that mice and people who lack Nav1.7 also produce higher than normal levels of natural opioid peptides. To examine if opioids were important for painlessness, the researchers gave naloxone, an opioid blocker, to genetically modified mice lacking Nav1.7 and found that they became able to feel pain.

They then gave naloxone to a 39-year-old woman with the rare mutation and she felt pain for the first time in her life.

“After a decade of rather disappointing drug trials, we now have confirmation that Nav1.7 really is a key element in human pain,” said senior author professor John Wood (UCL Medicine).

“The secret ingredient turned out to be good old-fashioned opioid peptides, and we have now filed a patent for combining low dose opioids with Nav1.7 blockers. This should replicate the painlessness experienced by people with rare mutations, and we have already successfully tested this approach in unmodified mice.”

Broad-spectrum sodium channel blockers are used as local anaesthetics, but they are not suitable for long-term pain management as they cause complete numbness and can have serious side-effects over time.

By contrast, people born without working Nav1.7 still feel non-painful touch normally and the only known side-effect is the inability to smell.

Opioid painkillers such as morphine are highly effective at reducing pain, but long-term use can lead to dependence and tolerance. As the body becomes used to the drug it becomes less effective so higher doses are needed for the same effect, side effects become more severe, and eventually it stops working altogether.

“Used in combination with Nav1.7 blockers, the dose of opioid needed to prevent pain is very low,” Wood said.

“People with non-functioning Nav1.7 produce low levels of opioids throughout their lives without developing tolerance or experiencing unpleasant side-effects.”

Scientists hope to see this new approach tested in human trials by 2017.

The study findings were published in a recent issue of journal Nature Communications.

(IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,782FollowersFollow

Most Popular

9 Traditional Indian Folk Theatre Forms that You Need to Know

BY NEHA HEGDE The folk or traditional arts of India have been used for moral, religious, and socio-political purposes from ancient times. It must also...

COVID-19 Can Lead to Infertility in Men, says Study

COVID-19 can cause male infertility by harming the testicular cells which produce sperms thereby making it difficult to make the female pregnant, says a...

Fashion Trends to Look Your Best in this Festive Season

It's a time to pause, to relook, to rethink - It's the time to revive the spirits. This year festivities will not be like...

Perfect Hairstyle Tips for the Festive Celebrations

It's Durga Puja time! It's the most awaited period of the year for many of us. And if you are among the ones who...

Proper Ventilation Key Factor to Prevent COVID Spread

New research adds to the growing body of evidence that effective or proper indoor ventilation may be a key factor in preventing the spread...

The 21-Day Immunity Plan To Follow: Book Review

With 80 percent of chronic disease attributable to lifestyle and linked environmental factors and within the lifestyle hierarchy, poor diet being the most important...

Tattoos May Impair Natural Sweating and Cause Overheat of Body

Researchers have found that tattoos may impair natural sweating, potentially causing the body to overheat if the tattoos cover a large area of the...

Amazon Allowing Work From Home Untill June 2021

Amazon is allowing its corporate employees to avail of the work from home option, if their roles permit, till June 2021. Amazon had earlier said...

Recent Comments