ME and Ophelia

Sunday, August 17, 2003

BBC NEWS | Health | Scientists unlock mystery nerve pain

[Excerpt] *Scientists at the National Insitute of Health Sciences in Tokyo believe they are a step closer to solving the riddle of the severe *neuropathic* pain.

The answer may lie in *microglial* cells - which can be found in the spinal cord and behave a little like immune cells.

When Tokyo researchers took activated microglial cells, then injected them directly into the spinal cords of rats, they developed neuropathic pain.

The researchers believe that a particular receptor protein on the surface of the cell may be responsible.

When rats were given nerve damage so that they developed neuropathic pain without the injections, high concentrations of this protein were found.

There is now the possibility - that if the same protein exists in humans - that a drug could be developed to block its effect.

Dr Donna Lloyd, from the Pain Research Insitute at Liverpool University, told BBC News Online the find could be important.*
# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 8/17/2003
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