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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday October 12 2019, @10:49AM   Printer-friendly
from the better-living-through-chemistry dept.

Brain Protein Promotes Maintenance of Chronic Pain:

A protein called RGS4 (Regulator of G protein signaling 4) plays a prominent role in the maintenance of long-term pain states and may serve as a promising new target for the treatment of chronic pain conditions, according to research conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published in print October 16, in The Journal of Neuroscience.

The discovery may help doctors stop acute pain from progressing into chronic pain, a condition in which patients experience not just pain, but a number of debilitating symptoms ranging from sensory deficits to depression and loss of motivation. The transition from acute to chronic (pathological) pain is accompanied by numerous adaptations in immune, glial, and neuronal cells, many of which are still not well understood. As a result, currently available medications for neuropathic or chronic inflammatory pain show limited efficacy and major side effects. Commonly administered opioids provide temporary alleviation of some pain symptoms, but carry serious risks like addiction in the context of long-term treatment for chronic pain. Therefore, there is an imminent need for novel approaches towards the treatment of chronic pain and for the development of medications that disrupt pain states instead of simply alleviating symptoms.

"Our research reveals that RGS4 actions contribute to the transition from acute and sub-acute pain to pathological pain states and to the maintenance of pain," says Venetia Zachariou, PhD, Professor in the Nash Family Department of Neuroscience, the Department of Pharmacological Sciences and The Friedman Brain Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "Because chronic pain states affect numerous neurochemical processes and single-target drugs are unlikely to work, it's exciting to have discovered a multifunctional protein that can be targeted to disrupt the maintenance of pain."

Journal Reference:

Kleopatra Avrampou, et al.. RGS4 maintains chronic pain symptoms in rodent models. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2019; 3154-18 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3154-18.2019

What possible survival benefit can there be for having a pathway to actively maintain chronic pain?

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 12 2019, @06:02PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 12 2019, @06:02PM (#906398)


    read opiod -> opioid

    Damn! now the fingers are failing.