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Prickly Painkiller.

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Ema, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

    Midwest USA
    "Although medicine has advanced far enough to treat basic headaches, strained muscles and the agony of having a cavity filled, inflammatory pain—the kind that results from osteoarthritis, bone cancer and back injuries—has proved to be a far more elusive target. Current remedies, including morphine and other opiates, flood all the nerves of the body, causing dangerous side effects. More localized remedies, such as steroid injections, wear off over time. Recently researchers have begun working with a toxin found in a Moroccan cactuslike plant that may be able to deliver permanent, local pain relief with a single injection.

    The compound, called resiniferatoxin (RTX), works by destroying the neurons specifically responsible for inflammatory pain. These neurons extend from the body's periphery (including the skin and internal organs) to the spinal cord, carrying pain signals along their axons. The signals eventually travel up to the brain. When injected directly into spinal fluid, RTX homes in on and kills only those neurons that produce a protein called TRPV1, which transmits the sensation of noxious heat and inflammation. It does not harm normal tissue and other pain-sensing nerves, such as those that produce the feeling of pinpricks or pinches."

    From Scientific American
    heapsreal and Bob like this.

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