Friday, September 16, 2011

New Genetic Markers for Controlling Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a serious and life-altering problem that millions of people across the world deal with every day.  With all the advances in our medical research and technology, scientists are still determining the causes of chronic pain, how to effectively treat it, and how to prevent it from happening to others in the future.  Very recently, a Canadian news article focused on the discovery of a gene that acts to regulate chronic pain.  Through scientific studies with laboratory mice, researchers have discovered the role of the HCN2 gene, a genetic marker that was commonly known to be somehow involved with pain sensation.  By removing the HCN2 gene in mice, Cambridge University scientists in the United Kingdom monitored how the mice respond to pain.  When the gene was deleted, the mice did not suffer from neuropathic pain--the type of pain associated with chronic pain, often linked to nerve damage.  Furthermore, deleting the HCN2 gene did not have an affect on acute pain (such as when you accidentally burn yourself or stub your toe).

Scientists hope that these new pieces of information involving the separation of neuropathic and acute pain may lead to new drugs that will block only neuropathic pain at the HCN2 gene marker.  This may prove to be a more effective and less damaging and addicting pain management program than the ones currently in place for those dealing with chronic pain.

This blog post is courtesy of Douglas V. Stoehr, Attorney at Law.  Attorney Stoehr a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania. For more information on him and his firm, please click here.

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