New study promotes the understanding of Pain-sensing neurons which may help identify the potential target for treating pain during surgery. The findings of the study are published in the journal Science Signaling.
"We investigated the potential role and molecular mechanisms of nociceptive ion channel dysregulation in acute pain conditions such as those resulting from the skin and soft tissue incision," Todorovic said.
‘Nociceptors is a type of receptor that informs the brain when there is an injury. By understanding how these nociceptors work, potential therapies can be developed for pain during surgery and reduce the use of opioids to prevent overdose deaths
Nociceptors represent a type of a receptor that exist to feel pain when the body is harmed. When activated, nociceptors notify the brain about the injury. In their study, the CU-led team looked at a specific channel for transmitting that information, aimed at developing a better understanding of potential ways to address pain after surgery.
By gaining a better understanding of how these nociceptors work, the researchers aim to identify potential new therapies for pain during surgery and to decrease the need for narcotics.
"Although opioids are very effective in treating the acute pain associated with surgical procedures, their use is associated with serious side effects, which include constipation, urinary retention, impaired cognitive function, respiratory depression, tolerance, and addiction," Todorovic and his co-authors write.
"More than 12 million people in the United States abused prescription opioids in 2010 alone, resulting in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. The necessity to treat this acute type of pain is of paramount importance since its duration and intensity influence the recovery process after surgery, as well as the onset of chronic post-surgical pain."