Scientist will decode neuron messages to treat pain

September 1, 2016
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Scientists from the Department of Biomedicine at Aarhus University are trying to decode neuron messages to treat pain. According to the presentation of the research, its leading author Sara B. Jager explains types of pain, which can be neuropathic one, too.

Study of Danish researcher aimed at the reducing neuropathic pain through the decoding the neuron messages. In fact, we often associate pain with a physical injury that we can see, such as broken limbs or skin abrasions. But another type of pain, called neuropathic one, we are experiencing when nerve cells (neurons) are damaged.

Ph.D. student Sara B. Jager from Aarhus University intends to decode neuron messages for better understanding the nature of the neuropathic pain and its treat respectively:

“In my Ph.D. project we try to understand what the cells are saying. And when we can understand that, we hope to develop new drug treatments to help treat patients with neuropathic pain.”

Neuropathic pain can occur after the accident, for an instance. When the broken leg is completely healed a patient may still experience pain when there are no exterior signs of injury that could explain it. That is the sign of neuropathic pain — due to the faulty messages sent between the damaged neuron and the surrounding, protective satellite glial cells.

“The satellite glial cells get this message loud and clear. Then they process the signal, they think about it a little bit, and then they send a message back to the neuron,” says Jager. According to her, neuropathic pain is used to be treated with antidepressants, but Jager hopes that her research will lead to better treatments like inhibiting the satellite cells from sending messages.

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