Researchers at the University of Liverpool have taken a major step forward in understanding the causes of a disorder which causes chronic pain in sufferers.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a serious condition affecting a limb after an – often small – accident or operation. It can cause severe pain lasting many years, as well as limb swelling, hair and nail growth changes, and muscle atrophy, but until now there has been no clear evidence of the cause.
Now the research team from the University’s Institute of Translational Medicine alongside colleagues at the University of Pecs, Hungary have successfully transferred antibodies from the serum of patients with CRPS to mice, causing many of the same symptoms to be replicated.
Dr Andreas Goebel, who works in the University of Liverpool and is a Consultant in Pain Medicine at The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, led the study. He said: “CRPS is a serious condition which isn’t fully understood. The findings of this study hint at a cause for it – harmful serum-autoantibodies – and raise the possibility of finding a treatment.”
In mice injected with the antibodies from CRPS sufferers, there was significantly more swelling of the affected limbs compared to mice injected with antibodies from healthy volunteers. Similar to what is seen in patient’s limbs, the paws of CRPS-antibody injected mice became more painful to pressure, and the paw tissues contained a higher concentration of the nerve-mediator Substance P.
Although it had previously been thought, that the cause of CRPS is exclusively an abnormal brain activity after injury, more recent results, including from the Liverpool group have pointed to an immune dysfunction.
Pinpoint the cause
Dr Goebel said: “It’s quite possible that CRPS is caused by a fault in the immune system. This study seems to pinpoint the cause as autoantibodies, and by examining this area further we can look to develop a cure.”
The project was subsidised by the European Union and co-financed by the European Social Fund. 7, the Pain Relief Foundation, Liverpool, UK,
CSL-Behring AG, Bern, Switzerland, BPL Ltd, UK, Biotest AG, Dreieich, Germany.
The study was published in the journal Pain and can be read here.
Jamie Brown | Eurek Alert!
Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences