Can Our Body Manufacture A Pain Killer?

by Savitha C Muppala on  November 14, 2006 at 7:24 PM Research News
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Can Our Body Manufacture A Pain Killer?
Paris- Scientists from the Mecca of Fashion, Paris, have uncovered a mechanism to combat pain, which is the presence of a natural chemical called opiorphin, a natural pain alleviator, far more powerful than the well known morphine.

In their experiments, rodents were found to experience pain relief with a reduced dosage of this chemical in comparison with the usual dosage of morphine. The finding which may prove interesting read, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, slated to be a forerunner of evolved pain management strategies in the future.

Researchers from the Institute Pasteur in Paris separated opiorphin from the human saliva, also available from other parts of the body. Scientists are optimistic that the chemical is capable of controlling the body's response to pain.

John Wood, professor of molecular neurobiology, at University College London, said, "The discovery that human saliva contains a pain-killing protein is very interesting, and follows on from the discovery of related protein activities in rats and cows. These proteins all stop the breakdown of natural morphine-like proteins that block pain pathways in the brain. However, drugs that act in a similar way have not progressed to the clinic, and there is no strong evidence that these proteins play a role in the physiological control of pain perception. The significance of these findings for pain control is thus still uncertain."

Source: Medindia
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