Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017

Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by sharp, lancinating pain in the teeth or facial area. The standard treatment for this chronic nerve pain can cause burdening side effects. A novel substance inhibits the pain effectively and is well tolerated, as documented by the initial results of an international study involving the Center of Dental Medicine at the University of Zurich.

The sharp pain shoots to the face or teeth and seriously torments patients. Known as trigeminal neuralgia, it is one of the worst chronic nerve pains. The bouts are triggered by touch, such as shaving, putting on make-up, showering, talking and tooth brushing, or even a gust of wind. The cause is usually an irritation of the trigeminal nerve, the cranial nerve responsible for the sensory innervation of the facial area, parts of the scalp, and the oral cavity.


Trigeminal neuralgia: A glimmer of hope for patients – thanks to a newly tested substance.

Picture: Center of Dental Medicine; UZH

However, there is now a glimmer of hope for patients: Thanks to a newly tested substance, the pain can be reduced to a tolerable level, as indicated by the promising results of an international phase II study involving the Center of Dental Medicine at the University of Zurich.


Less burdening side effects

Pain signals reach the brain via the activation of sodium channels located in the membranes of nerve cells. The sodium channel “1.7” is frequently expressed on pain-conducting nerves and higher pain intensity is linked to higher channel activity. Blocking this sodium channel – e.g. by a local anesthetic – inhibits the pain. In trigeminal neuralgia, the nerve damage is presumed to be at the base of the skull. However, this region is hard to reach by local injections and therefore requires drug treatment.


The novel substance BIIB074 which was tested in this phase II study inhibits the sodium channel 1.7 state-dependent, meaning: The more active this sodium channel gets, the stronger it is blocked by BIIB074. By contrast, currently available medications block the sodium channel 1.7 irrespective of the nerve activity, which commonly results in burdening side effects.

“Unlike conventional drugs, which often cause tiredness and concentration problems, BIIB074 was not only effective; but also very well tolerated,” explains Dominik Ettlin, a dental specialist from UZH. “We will now test the new substance in a lot more subjects during the next study phase, which will reveal whether the new hope for more effective pain relief is justified,” he concludes.


Literature:

Joanna Zakrzewska, Joanne Palmer, Valerie Morisset, Gerard Giblin, Mark Obermann, Dominik Ettlin, Giorgio Cruccu, Lars Bendtsen, Mark Estacion, Dominique Derjean, Stephen Waxman, Gary Layton, Kevin Gunn, and Simon Tate. Safety and efficacy of a Nav1.7 selective sodium channel blocker in trigeminal neuralgia: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised withdrawal phase 2a trial. The Lancet Neurology, February 16, 2017. doi: 10.1016/S147-4422


Trigeminal neuralgia

Around 13 people in every 100,000 are diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia every year – that’s around 1,100 throughout Switzerland. Trigeminal neuralgia affects more women than men, the majority of whom are pensioners. Around one percent of all multiple sclerosis patients develop trigeminal neuralgia.

Contact:

PD Dr. med., Dr. med. dent. Dominik Ettlin

Center of Dental Medicine

University of Zurich

Phone: +41 44 634 32 54

E-mail: dominik.ettlin@zzm.uzh.ch

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.media.uzh.ch/en/Press-Releases/2017/Effective-treatment-of-nerve-pain...

Nathalie Huber | Universität Zürich

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>