Persistent Pain  /  Future Value

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    • Resolvins, a family of lipid mediators, have shown potential in resolving persistent inflammatory pain.  
    • Nerve growth factor (NGF) has been found to be a major mediator of inflammatory and neuropathic pain and provides a new therapeutic target.  
    • Use of stem cells to create neurons could enable the study of the response of human cells to new drugs in vitro, early in the drug development process.  
    • The combination of information for neuroimaging and circulatory biomarkers could improve both the sensitivity and specificity of pain diagnosis and thereby improve treatment.  
    • Understanding the role of genetics in pain mechanisms is increasing and the potential now exists to conduct genome-wide screens in model organisms to look for pain-associated genes.  
    • Researchers have developed several sub-types of ion channels that allow inflammation and growth factors to trigger persistent pain.  
    • Researchers have discovered that some types of glial cells have a major impact on persistent neuropathic pain and that targeting these cells may result in a new class of disease…  
    • Advances in neuroimaging will continue to offer information on the brain’s functioning and how it correlates to the pain experience.  
    • Targeting A-type K+ channels in primary sensory neurons could provide a novel mechanism-based therapy for the treatment of bone cancer pain–one of the most severe types of chronic pain.  
    • A proteasome inhibitor was found to reduce pain and joint destruction in an animal model of osteoarthritis, suggesting that nontoxic proteasome inhibitors could offer a novel pharmacotherapy option.  
    • Statin use in mouse models show pain-alleviating effects for neuropathic pain.  
    • Brain imaging is showing that pain changes the structure and function of brain regions that perceive pain, making it persistent. These brain networks and receptor targets are being identified…