HOME >> MEDICINE >> NEWS
Researchers identify potential targets for new pain therapies

A team led by Robert W. Gereau IV, Ph.D., associate professor of anesthesiology, reports in the April 6 issue of the journal Neuron the identification of a potassium channel that plays a crucial role in what scientists call pain plasticity, the ability of molecules in the spinal cord to amplify or diminish the response to a painful stimulus.

Electrical activity in neurons is produced by subtle changes in the cell's potassium concentration. To maintain correct amounts of potassium, cells are equipped with proteins that poke through the cell membrane like small pores. The proteins are called ion channels or potassium channels, and they create tiny sieves through which potassium can flow from the inside to the outside of the cell.

"The potassium channel we are studying is called Kv4.2," says Gereau, who also is chief of the basic research division of the Washington University Pain Center. "Through a series of experiments, we've been able to determine that Kv4.2 decreases transmission through the pain pathway. It helps regulate the ability of pain-transmitting neurons to transmit their signals to the brain."

We sense pain through primary sensory neurons with nerve endings in the skin, the joints, internal organs or muscles. Those nerve cells interpret signals indicating tissue injury or potential injury and transmit these signals to a part of the spinal cord called the dorsal horn. Pain-transmission neurons in the dorsal horn receive those messages and transmit their own pain signals to the brain.

The signals from neurons in the dorsal horn can be either damped down or enhanced, depending upon many factors, according to Gereau. That's the plasticity that makes some things hurt more than others, even though the painful stimulus itself might not change.

"Say you pinch your finger," Gereau says. "It might not feel painful because even though you activate some of these pain-sensing neurons, that pain signal doesn't just pass throug
'"/>

Contact: Jim Dryden
jdryden@wustl.edu
314-286-0110
Washington University School of Medicine
5-Apr-2006


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers suggest TB screening for all international adoptees
2. Researchers find vitamin B1 deficiency key to vascular problems for diabetic patients
3. Researchers link metal ions to neurodegenerative disease
4. Researchers develop criteria to detect bone mass deficiencies in children with chronic diseases
5. Researchers call for investigation into links between khat use and psychiatric disorders
6. Researchers use MRI to predict recovery after spinal cord injury
7. Researchers find deadly prescription drug effects 6 years before FDA
8. Researchers investigate impact of lifestyle on GI health
9. Researchers begin randomized double-blind trial of airway bypass treatment for emphysema
10. Researchers discover how antibiotic inhibits bacterial growth
11. Researchers urge caution in using ESAs for cancer-related anemia

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:10/10/2019)... ... 2019 , ... AltMed Florida , one of the fastest growing Medical ... grand opening of its second MÜV™ Medical Cannabis Dispensary on the First Coast – ... Jacksonville Beach. , Located at Beach Plaza Shopping Center at the corner of Beach ...
(Date:10/8/2019)... ... 2019 , ... What unique insights can three former Surgeons General of the ... the nation? That question will be answered at ICAA 2019: Shaping the Future of ... event will take place October 10-12, 2019, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention ...
(Date:10/8/2019)... ... October 08, 2019 , ... Drs. ... help patients with missing teeth restore their smiles with long-lasting dental implants ... relies on advanced i-CAT® 3D Cone Beam CT imaging, X-Guide™ software and Yomi® ...
(Date:10/8/2019)... ... October 08, 2019 , ... METAvivor Research and Support Inc., ... the launch of its Stage IV Stampede campaign. The campaign will commence with two ... that will include an advocacy boot camp, a march, a Die-In (hosted by partner ...
(Date:10/8/2019)... ... , ... On November 9, 2019, husband and wife dental team, Dr.’s Michael and Azita Mansouri, ... marks the ninth consecutive year that Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates has ... event has always had a great turnout, serving over 300 people in a single day ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Based on data for the first eight months of the ... donors over 2018. Through August 31, 7,786 deceased donors have provided 23,797 organs for ... At this pace, the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) projects 2019 could see ...
(Date:10/10/2019)... ... October 10, 2019 , ... ... , 2019 ITTF Parkinson World Table Tennis Championships, October 11th – 13th,  , ... and perform in public. So, he sought to find a way to combat ...
(Date:10/9/2019)... ... October 09, 2019 , ... The 11th annual American ... Science and AMI Meditation for the relief and prevention of physician burnout. Entitled ... 22-26, 2019 at the Cranwell Resort and Spa in Lenox, Massachusetts, is certified ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: