Discovery of a powerful pain reliever that acts on a previously unknown pain pathway

Stephen Martin (left) and James Sahn have discovered a new pain reliever that acts on a previously unknown pain pathway.
CREDIT
Stephen Martin
A team of scientists led by chemists Stephen Martin and James Sahn at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered what they say is a powerful pain reliever that acts on a previously unknown pain pathway.

The synthetic compound, known as UKH-1114, is as effective at relieving neuropathic pain in injured mice as a drug widely used for pain relief called gabapentin, but it works at a much lower dose, with longer duration of action.

If the researchers can demonstrate that the drug is safe, effective and nonaddictive in humans — a process that typically takes years — the discovery could be instrumental in addressing one of today’s biggest public health challenges: the opioid abuse epidemic.

Nearly a third of Americans suffer from chronic pain, yet the most effective pain relievers — opioids — are addictive and often require increased dosing to maintain efficacy. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 2 million people in the U.S. suffer from addiction to prescription opioid pain relievers. Alternatives to opioids have their own drawbacks — for example, gabapentin (sold as Neurontin) can cause cognitive impairment in certain individuals.

“This opens the door to having a new treatment for neuropathic pain that is not an opioid,” said Martin, a professor and the M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Regents Chair in Chemistry. “And that has huge implications.”

The pain drug they found binds to a receptor on cells throughout the central nervous system called the sigma 2 receptor. Although it was discovered 25 years ago, scientists still did not know what sigma 2 did until now.

Theodore Price, associate professor of neuroscience at The University of Texas at Dallas and a leading expert on chronic pain, tested UKH-1114 on mice with nerve damage and found that it alleviated pain as well as gabapentin did, but at a much lower dose (one-sixth as much) and was effective much longer (lasting for a couple of days, compared with 4 to 6 hours). This research is the first to demonstrate that the sigma 2 receptor may be a target for treating neuropathic pain.

Results are published in the Aug. 18 print edition of the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience. An earlier paper, published online on May 28 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, described the molecular cloning and identification of the sigma 2 receptor.

The researchers have filed patent applications on the new compound.

Neuropathic pain, or chronic pain, is caused when nerves in the central nervous system are damaged. Among other things, it can result from chemotherapy, diabetes and injuries to the brain or spinal cord.

Much work remains to be done before UKH-1114 can enter the market. More studies are needed to demonstrate safety, efficacy and oral bioavailability. In the meantime, the scientists are working to understand, on a fundamental level, how activating the sigma 2 receptor relieves neuropathic pain.

See Also
Researchers Professor James Friend and Dr Amgad Rezk with the lithium niobate chip

Still, Martin and Sahn are excited by the compelling results from the mouse model.

“We started out just working on fundamental chemistry in the lab,” said Sahn, a research scientist in the Department of Chemistry. “But now we see the possibility that our discoveries could improve the quality of people’s lives. That is very satisfying.”

Learn more: Scientists discover powerful potential pain reliever

 

The Latest on: UKH-1114
[google_news title=”” keyword=”UKH-1114″ num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
  • One Piece Chapter 1114 Review: The First Pirate Joy Boy
    on May 13, 2024 at 5:39 am

    Vegapunk's revelations in One Piece 1114 shed light on the Void Century and an ancient Kingdom's mystery. Dr. Vegapunk's message hints at a major shake-up for the World Government and a crucial ...

  • One Piece Chapter 1114 Recap & Spoilers
    on May 12, 2024 at 6:06 am

    Here’s a full spoiler-filled recap of One Piece chapter 1114. The entire chapter is basically a massive lore dump, but one that fans have been waiting years for. As Vegapunk begins to explain ...

  • One Piece Chapter 1114 Spoilers & Manga Plot Leaks
    on May 1, 2024 at 5:00 pm

    One Piece Chapter 1114 will be released in the United States on Sunday, May 12, at 11 AM ET/10 AM CT/8 AM PT. It appears that the upcoming chapter will reveal a lot of new information in the story.

  • One Piece Chapter 1114 Release Date and Time
    on April 29, 2024 at 6:44 pm

    When Does One Piece Chapter 1114 Release? One Piece Chapter 1114 will be arriving on May 12, 2024, at 7 am PT. That means you’ve only got a few weeks to wait before it’s finally here.

  • One Piece chapter 1114: Major spoilers to expect
    on April 28, 2024 at 8:30 pm

    Following the start of Dr. Vegapunk's message and its shocking opening reveal, One Piece chapter 1114 should see this information continue. Fans are likewise anxious for the issue's release ...

  • One Piece 1114: What To Expect From The Chapter
    on April 28, 2024 at 5:00 pm

    In One Piece 1114, fans can expect more details on Vegapunk's message predicting the world's sinking. The reaction to Vegapunk's message will lead to chaos and rebellion, marking the beginning of ...

  • SteamVR Error 1114, There is a problem with the Oculus runtime installation
    on June 1, 2022 at 8:09 am

    Are you getting the error code 1114 on SteamVR on Windows PC? A lot of SteamVR users have reported encountering the Runtime Installation error while trying to open ...

  • UKH School of Science and Engineering
    on September 15, 2019 at 6:37 am

    The School of Science and Engineering (SSE) aims to equip students with the necessary tools for industrial success and an attitude of life-long learning. Industries connected with natural resources, ...

  • About UKH Location
    on August 23, 2019 at 5:41 am

    The University of Kurdistan Hewler (UKH) is situated in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government and a city known in Kurdish as Hewler. Tourism & Business: Foreign visitors are warmly ...

  • LoadLibrary failed with error 1114 on Windows 11/10
    on October 1, 2018 at 10:21 am

    While working with some graphics intensive applications like video rendering software, or games like PUBG or Fortnite, something in the background can get messed up ...

via Google News and Bing News

What's Your Reaction?
Don't Like it!
0
I Like it!
0
Scroll To Top