Researchers identify potential target for treating pain during surgery

August 28, 2018, CU Anschutz Medical Campus
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

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.

The team, led by Slobodan Todorovic, MD, Ph.D., 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.

"We 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.

Nociceptors 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 after .

By 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.

"Although 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 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 ."

Explore further: Low-dose ketamine may be an effective alternative to opioids

More information: "Selective inhibition of CaV3.2 channels reverses hyperexcitability of peripheral nociceptors and alleviates postsurgical pain" Science Signaling (2018). stke.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi … 26/scisignal.aao4425

Related Stories

Low-dose ketamine may be an effective alternative to opioids

July 18, 2018
Opioids are commonly prescribed in the emergency department (ED) for the treatment of acute pain, but due to the epidemic of opioid misuse, analgesic alternatives are being explored. A new Academic Emergency Medicine analysis ...

Study IDs pain descriptors for varying stages of low back pain

May 4, 2018
(HealthDay)—Varying pain descriptors may be useful when evaluating patients with different stages of low back pain (LBP), according to a study published online April 30 in PAIN Practice.

Drug may help surgical patients stop opioids sooner

December 13, 2017
(HealthDay)—Opioid painkillers after surgery can be the first step toward addiction for some patients. But a common drug might cut the amount of narcotics that patients need, a new study finds.

Plant molecule could be used to block postoperative incisional pain

December 22, 2017
A promising approach to post-operative incision-site pain control uses a naturally occurring plant molecule called resiniferatoxin (RTX). RTX is found in Euphorbia resinifera, a cactus-like plant native to Morocco, which ...

How to avoid opioid addiction after surgery

January 30, 2018
(HealthDay)—Following surgery, many patients head home with prescriptions for 30 or more opioid painkillers—enough to trigger addiction, warns a leading group of anesthesiologists.

Researchers developing drug delivery patches to manage pain without addiction risk

March 27, 2018
Everybody occasionally experiences pain. Generally, pain is manageable with over-the-counter medications, or no medication at all. But when pain is acute and severe, such as after an injury or surgery, stronger pain medication ...

Recommended for you

3-D-printed tracheal splints used in groundbreaking pediatric surgery

September 19, 2018
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta has performed Georgia's first-ever procedure to place 3-D-printed tracheal splints in a pediatric patient. A cross-functional team of Children's surgeons used three custom-made splints, which ...

Muscle relaxants increase risk of respiratory complications

September 18, 2018
Muscle relaxants are a necessary part of anesthesia during certain major operations. However, studies have hinted at respiratory risks connected with these drugs. POPULAR, a major prospective observational European study ...

Gunshot victims require much more blood and are more likely to die than other trauma patients

September 17, 2018
In a new analysis of data submitted to Maryland's state trauma registry from 2005 to 2017, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers found that gunshot victims are approximately five times more likely to require blood transfusions, ...

Liver allocation system disadvantages children awaiting transplants

September 17, 2018
Children are at a considerable disadvantage when competing with adults for livers from deceased organ donors in the U.S. allocation system, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health-led analysis reveals ...

Taste preferences connected to success of long-term weight loss after bariatric surgery

September 16, 2018
Following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), a type of bariatric surgery, many patients exhibit a reduction in taste preference for sweet and fatty foods, although this effect may only be temporary, according to new research ...

New insights into what drives organ transplant rejection

September 6, 2018
When it comes to transplant rejection, some organs are far trickier than others. Some transplantable organs, such as the liver, are readily accepted by the recipient's immune system, rarely triggering an immune response and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.