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 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 >>>