How understanding pain can help develop better pain-relieving methods

Washington, Dec. 12 : In an effort to understand the science behind pain, researchers claimed to have developed a new technique that could result in better ways to relieve pain and monitor the healing process.

Sandip Biswal, Frederick T. Chin, Justin Du Bois and colleagues note that current ways to diagnose pain basically involve asking the patient if something hurts.

These subjective approaches are fraught with bias and can lead doctors in the wrong direction if a patient doesn't want to talk about the pain or can't communicate well. It can also be difficult to tell how well a treatment is really working.

No existing method can measure pain intensity objectively or help physicians pinpoint the exact location of the pain.

Past research has shown an association between pain and a certain kind of protein, called a sodium channel that helps nerve cells transmit pain and other sensations to the brain.

Certain forms of this channel are overproduced at the site of an injury, so the team set out to develop an imaging method to visualize high concentrations of this protein.

They turned to a small molecule called saxitoxin, produced naturally by certain types of microscopic marine creatures, and attached a signal to it so they could trace it by PET imaging.

PET scanners are used in hospitals to diagnose diseases and injuries.

When the researchers injected the molecule into rats, they saw that the molecule accumulated where the rats had nerve damage.

The rats didn't show signs of toxic side effects.

The study is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

--ANI (Posted on 13-12-2013)

world-news headlines

Pakistan, China hold joint military exercise

Eight killed in Mexican plane crash

15 Afghan Taliban killed since Saturday

Two Chinese engineers abducted in Sudan

China to launch major energy projects

South Africa's ruling party may win majority in May elections

India-headed Malaysian plane returns after technical glitch

12 killed in attacks across Iraq

Pakistan: 41 killed in road mishap

Wawrinka beat Federer in Monte-Carlo final

Hamid Mir attack: PM orders judicial inquiry

South Korean ferry sinking: Death toll touches 56

Quick Links: Goa | Munnar | Pondicherry | Free Yearly Horoscope '2014


Your e-mail:

Your Full Name:

Type verification image:
verification image, type it in the box


Back to Top