Aurora, Colo. — A
research team lead by faculty of the University of Colorado School of Medicine
have published a study that improves the understanding of the pain-sensing
neurons that respond to tissue injury during surgery.
team, led by Slobodan Todorovic, MD, PhD, Professor of Anesthesiology at the
School of Medicine and the Neuroscience Graduate Program on the CU Anschutz
Medical Campus, reports its findings
today in the journal Science Signaling.
investigated the potential role and molecular mechanisms of nociceptive ion
channel dysregulation in acute pain conditions such as those resulting from
skin and soft tissue incision,” Todorovic said.
represent a type of a receptor that exist to feel pain when the body is harmed.
When activated, nociceptors notify the brain about the injury. In their study,
the CU-led team looked at a specific channel for transmitting that information,
aimed at developing a better understanding of potential ways to address pain
gaining a better understanding of how these nociceptors work, the researchers
aim to identify potential new therapies for pain during surgery and to decrease
the need for narcotics.
opioids are very effective in treating the acute pain associated with surgical
procedures, their use is associated with serious side effects, which include
constipation, urinary retention, impaired cognitive function, respiratory
depression, tolerance, and addiction,” Todorovic and his co-authors write.
“More than 12 million people in the United States abused prescription opioids
in 2010 alone, resulting in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine
combined. The necessity to treat this acute type of pain is of paramount
importance since its duration and intensity influence the recovery process
after surgery, as well as the onset of chronic post-surgical pain.”
study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and by the
Department of Anesthesiology at the CU School of Medicine on the Anschutz
Medical Campus. Eight authors are listed on the article, including six from the
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.