Medical research

Activation of opioid receptor uncovered

Together with colleagues from Shanghai, Brussels, Canada and the USA, researchers from the University of Bonn have uncovered the binding mechanism of an important pain receptor. The results facilitate the development of new ...

Neuroscience

Blunting pain's emotional component

Chronic pain involves more than just hurting. People suffering from pain often experience sadness, depression and lethargy. That's one reason opioids can be so addictive—they not only dampen the pain but also make people ...

Medications

Pain relief at a lower opioid dose

A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that activating nerve cell receptors along two chemical pathways—one that has previously been linked to how the brain senses "itch"—may improve pain relief when combined ...

Medical research

Scientists take a big step toward building a better opioid

For the first time, scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and collaborators solved the crystal structure of the activated kappa opioid receptor bound to a morphine derivative. They then created ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Combination approach may boost social interactions in autism

The hormone oxytocin, the so-called hug hormone or cuddle chemical, has more nicknames than proven medical uses. However, oxytocin may benefit children with autism spectrum disorders if receptors for opioids—brain chemicals ...

Medications

Researchers identify source of opioids' side effects

A commercially available drug may help drastically reduce two side effects of opioid painkillers—a growing tolerance and a paradoxical increased sensitivity to pain—without affecting the drugs' ability to reduce pain, ...

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