Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cause of ongoing pain discovered

24.01.2006


New research shows that it is undamaged nerve fibres that cause ongoing spontaneous pain, not those that are injured.



These unexpected findings, by Dr Laiche Djouhri, Professor Sally Lawson and colleagues from the University of Bristol, UK, are reported in the Journal of Neuroscience today [25 January, 2006].

Previous research into ongoing chronic pain has tended to focus on the damaged nerve fibres after injury or disease and overlooked the intact fibres. This new understanding may help pharmaceutical companies formulate novel pain killers.


Professor Lawson said: “The cause of this ongoing pain and why it arises spontaneously was not understood before. Now that we know the type of nerve fibres involved, and especially that it is the undamaged fibres that cause this pain, we can examine them to find out what causes them to continually send impulses to the brain. This should help in the search for new analgesics that are effective for controlling ongoing pain.”

Ongoing pain is a burning or sharp stabbing/shooting pain that can occur spontaneously after nerve injury. Unlike ‘evoked’ pain caused, for example, by hitting your thumb with a hammer, ongoing pain is particularly difficult to live with because it is often impossible to treat with currently available pain killers.

Djouhri and Lawson show that the nerve cells responsible are ‘nociceptors’ or damage detectors. There are thousands of these nerves cells, each of which has a very long, fine nerve fibre emerging from it. These fibres run within nerves and connect the skin or other tissues to the spinal cord.

When activated through damage or disease, these nerve fibres fire electrical impulses that travel along the fibre from the site of injury to the spinal cord, from where information is sent to the brain. The faster the undamaged fine fibres fire, the stronger the ongoing pain becomes.

Dr Djouhri added: “The cause of this firing appears to be inflammation within the nerves or tissues, caused by dying or degeneration of the injured nerve fibres within the same nerve.”

The mechanism described by Djouhri and Lawson occurs following nerve injury and in nerve and tissue inflammation. Further research is now needed to establish how generally this mechanism may contribute to ongoing pain associated with a wide variety of diseases such as back pain or shingles.

Cherry Lewis | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bristol.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

nachricht Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another
12.12.2018 | Technische Universität München

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: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magic number colloidal clusters

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Live from the ocean research vessel Atlantis

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>