Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists tap into spinal response from gastric reflux

01.10.2013
University of Adelaide researchers have made advances in the understanding of one of the world's most common medical conditions, gastric reflux, and how patients experience pain from it.

Gastric reflux affects as many as one in five people in Western countries and is on the increase in Asia. Diet and lifestyle, as well as genetic and hormonal issues, are commonly considered to be major causes of gastric reflux.

In laboratory studies, researchers have identified the nerve pathways in the spinal cord that transmit pain signals associated with gastric reflux to the brain.

"This is the first time anyone has shown the pain pathways in the spinal cord that receive direct input from acid-sensitive nerve endings in the esophagus," says Dr Andrea Harrington, an Australian Research Council (ARC) DECRA Research Fellow in the University's Nerve-Gut Laboratory.

"This is important because we know that the esophageal nerves undergo changes in gastric reflux patients that make them overly sensitive to acid. There is also evidence to suggest that the whole circuitry becomes abnormally sensitive in these patients, resulting in ongoing pain responses in the absence of actual acid reflux. Our research will enable us to identify such mechanisms," she says.

Dr Harrington says it's important to better understand how we detect and perceive pain from gastric reflux.

"Being able to know exactly how pain pathways connect to the brain will give us new insights, which in the years ahead could lead to improved treatment," she says.

Dr Harrington says most current treatments focus on reducing the amount of acid in the stomach.

"However, we think it's a much more complex issue than that. There might come a time when treatments are able to both address the amount of acid in the stomach while correcting the sensitivity of nerve endings. This would go a long way to providing more balanced relief to suffers of gastric reflux."

The next step in this research is to find out how the pain pathways are changed in reflux sufferers.

The results of Dr Harrington's work have been published in this month's journal Neurogastroenterology & Motility.

The research has been funded by the ARC and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Media contact:

Dr Andrea Harrington
ARC DECRA Research Fellow
Nerve-Gut Laboratory, School of Medicine
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8222 2602
andrea.harrington@adelaide.edu.au

Dr. Andrea Harrington | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.adelaide.edu.au

Further reports about: acid reflux gastric reflux pain responses spinal cord spinal response

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Why might reading make myopic?
18.07.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

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: 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....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

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

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>