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Breakthrough achieved in the treatment of chronic pain
The treatment of chronic pain could lead to complete pain relief in the future with the help of newly developed active ingredients. This could help millions of people with chronic pain finally live a normal, pain-free life.
In the current study by the University of Copenhagen, a new method for treating chronic pain was tried, which could lead to complete pain relief. The new type of treatment has been successfully tested on mice. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "EMBO Molecular Medicine".
How widespread is chronic pain?
Between seven and ten percent of the world's population suffer from chronic pain caused by damaged nerves. Chronic pain can occur, for example, after surgery, in people with diabetes, after a blood clot and after an amputation in the form of phantom pain.
Treatment only affects nerve changes
The University of Copenhagen researchers have now found a new way to treat chronic pain. For more than a decade, the research group has been working on developing and testing a drug that is said to bring about complete pain relief. The new method for the treatment of chronic pain does not affect the general neuronal signal transmission, but only the nerve changes caused by illness.
Special peptide enables pain relief
The compound developed is a so-called peptide called Tat-P4- (C5) 2. This peptide is targeted and only affects the nerve changes that are a problem and cause pain. "We followed the entire process, from understanding biology to inventing and designing the active ingredient to describing how it works in animals, influencing their behavior and reducing pain," says study author Professor Kenneth Lindegaard Madsen from the University of Copenhagen in one Press release.
Peptide led to complete pain relief
The researchers describe the active ingredient as very efficient and, according to their own statements, were unable to identify any side effects. In the mouse model used, the peptide led to complete pain relief without the lethargic effect that is actually characteristic of existing pain relieving medication. In an earlier study, the researchers were also able to demonstrate in animal models that the use of the peptide can also reduce dependence on painkillers.
Further research is already planned
The next step is to test the treatment on humans, reports the research team. Since the goal is to develop a drug, the researchers are already planning to found a biotech company in order to achieve this goal quickly. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Nikolaj R Christensen, Marta De Luca, Michael B Lever, Mette Richner, Astrid B Hansen et al .: A high ‐ affinity, bivalent PDZ domain inhibitor complexes PICK1 to alleviate neuropathic pain, in EMBO Molecular Medicine (published April 30, 2020), EMBO Molecular Medicine
- Researchers are developing potential treatment for chronic pain, University of Copenhagen (Published April 30, 2020), University of Copenhagen