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posted by hubie on Thursday February 08, @05:34PM   Printer-friendly

https://newatlas.com/medical/neuropathy-chronic-nerve-pain-non-opioid-compound/

Researchers have discovered a non-opioid compound that, in mice, effectively reduced the pain hypersensitivity associated with chronic and often debilitating nerve pain caused by diabetes or chemotherapy drugs. It's opened the door to developing a drug to treat the condition for which existing painkillers do little.

Diabetes, chemotherapy drugs, multiple sclerosis, injuries and amputations have all been associated with neuropathic pain, usually caused by damage to nerves in various body tissues, including the skin, muscles and joints. Mechanical hypersensitivity – or mechanical allodynia – is a major symptom of neuropathic pain, where innocuous stimuli like light touch cause severe pain.

Many available pain medications aren't effective in reducing this often-debilitating type of chronic pain. However, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), in collaboration with UT Dallas and the University of Miami, may have advanced the treatment of neuropathic pain by discovering a molecule that reduces mechanical hypersensitivity in mice.

"We found it to be an effective painkiller, and the effects were rather long-lived," said Stephen Martin, a co-corresponding author of the study. "When we tested it on different models, diabetic neuropathy and chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, for example, we found this compound has an incredible beneficial effect."

[...] "It's our goal to make this compound into a drug that can be used to treat chronic pain without the dangers of opioids," Martin said. "Neuropathic pain is often a debilitating condition that can affect people their entire lives, and we need a treatment that is well tolerated and effective."

Journal Reference:
Muhammad Saad Yousuf, et al., Highly specific σ2R/TMEM97 ligand FEM-1689 alleviates neuropathic pain and inhibits the integrated stress response, PNAS, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2306090120


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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Frosty Piss on Thursday February 08, @08:37PM (1 child)

    by Frosty Piss (4971) on Thursday February 08, @08:37PM (#1343659)

    I'm just wondering how they found a large population of mice with chronic debilitating nerve pain that were undergoing chemotherapy? Those are some sad mice.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Freeman on Thursday February 08, @10:37PM

      by Freeman (732) on Thursday February 08, @10:37PM (#1343665) Journal

      Knowing scientists, they created them that way.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @09:34PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @09:34PM (#1343662)

    He lived with chronic pain for years. Shot himself it was so bad. I can't begin to imagine how bad it was to make him do that. I know he tried everything too, including DIY cannabis-based stuff. Nothing worked--some people don't actually respond well to opioids.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Frosty Piss on Friday February 09, @01:00AM (6 children)

      by Frosty Piss (4971) on Friday February 09, @01:00AM (#1343674)

      The opioid "crisis" has seriously hurt many people with pain issues. For example my significant other who formerly used prescription opiates to deal with pain, not get high. Now she couldn't get a bottle of 5 due to the *fucking* druggies, you better be on chemo if you want any. CBD does something, but for those with true chronic pain, the druggies made it a lot worse. Some turned to illegal opiates and that shit KILLS.

      • (Score: 5, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Friday February 09, @01:51AM (2 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 09, @01:51AM (#1343675) Journal

        When you start apportioning blame, go a little lighter on the addicts, and go after the pharma and medical companies that pushed the opiates so damned hard. It's easy to blame addicts, not so easy to blame the corporate suits who got rich on the addict's suffering.

        --
        Do political debates really matter? Ask Joe!
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Friday February 09, @02:53PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 09, @02:53PM (#1343722) Journal

          But they did it for profit! Capitalism! So it must be okay.

          Yes, there are people, and I've met one a few decades ago, who actually seem to believe that you can not possibly do any wrong if it makes profit.

          --
          People who think Republicans wouldn't dare destroy Social Security or Medicare should ask women about Roe v Wade.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Freeman on Friday February 09, @03:31PM

          by Freeman (732) on Friday February 09, @03:31PM (#1343730) Journal

          It's easy to feel a bit sorry for the addicts. It's easy to feel contempt for someone profiting off someone else's suffering.

          --
          Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Friday February 09, @02:59PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 09, @02:59PM (#1343723) Journal

        my significant other who formerly used prescription opiates to deal with pain, not get high. Now she couldn't get a bottle of 5 due to the *fucking* druggies

        I have been concerned with this possibility for over fifteen years now. However I've never had any difficulty getting prescription hydrocodone which I use occasionally. A couple years ago I asked my primary doctor if I could step it up and increase the frequency of taking it by 50%, but keep the same dose. She said: no problem. Both my primary and my arthritis dr. say I am definitely not overdoing it on the narcotics. But I have a very healthy fear of taking that stuff.

        I am very sorry about your significant other, and sorry for the anonymous cow herd's neighbor. Medicine should be available to people who need it. Why else do we invent and manufacture it? (other than for corporate greed)

        --
        People who think Republicans wouldn't dare destroy Social Security or Medicare should ask women about Roe v Wade.
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by sjames on Friday February 09, @03:11PM

        by sjames (2882) on Friday February 09, @03:11PM (#1343724) Journal

        Don't forget the DEA and the stupid drug laws. Junkies are gonna junkie, but why does that have to interfere with people getting drugs for legitimate need?

        Make it signature required (only), offer addiction treatment and call it a day.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @09:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @09:19PM (#1343773)

        We've gone back and forth on this of course--they used to be very tight-fisted with opiates, then they got loose and made vast commercial quantities and destroyed lives, now I guess the pendulum is swinging back. The neighbor in question had no trouble getting access. They just didn't work, perhaps because of this genetic defect [medcentral.com], tolerance, or maybe the side effects like constipation were too much.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by pTamok on Friday February 09, @08:40AM

    by pTamok (3042) on Friday February 09, @08:40AM (#1343694)

    I hope this becomes a useful treatment soon.

    I know someone with post-operative neuropathic pain. Currently they take gabapentin for it, which 'takes the edge off' - it doesn't work for everybody. They have restricted access to opioids, and choose not to take them because of the 'brain fog' associated with them. My late mother was the same - despite 'bone-pain' from metastatic cancer, she opted to not take opioids for as long as she could bear it, as she hated the cognitive effects they had. She was, as they say, a 'tough cookie'.

    We don't have a lot of good options for long-term pain relief, so if this works in humans and can be developed into a medicine, it will be of great benefit to a lot of people who don't have a lot of options right now. Continuous pain is incredibly debilitating.

    As said eloquently by many people: "Fuck cancer."

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Friday February 09, @06:30PM

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Friday February 09, @06:30PM (#1343755)

    I'm luckier than most because I'm generally free of phantom pain. But when it strikes, maybe once or twice a year, I could bash my head against the wall. Nothing will calm the pain down. I have to ride it out, and it can take a long time.

    The best "medication" I found when it gets too much is drinking myself unconscious: it doesn't make the pain go away, it makes me unconscious so I go away instead. And since I never drink, it doesn't take me much to overdo it and I fucking hate it.

    I could use a pill that works instead...

  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday February 11, @01:22AM

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Sunday February 11, @01:22AM (#1343927) Journal

    I've been wondering for a long, long time what the sigma receptors do. There's a lot less information on those than, say, 5-HT or GABA-A. This is incredibly welcome news, not just from the "fewer addicts" standpoint but because it has the potential to massively alleviate needless suffering...which, after all, is the whole *point* of medicine, no?

    --
    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
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