Newly identified compounds in spider venom could help treat chronic pain
The thought of spiders may make your skin crawl, but a new study suggests that maybe we should put our hatred of the eight-legged beasts to one side; their venom could lead to a more effective treatment for the 100 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain.Chronic pain – defined as pain that lasts longer than 3-6 months – is the most common cause of long-term disability in the US. It occurs when nerves in a part of the body send continuous signals to the brain via pain pathways.Past studies have found that, in humans, one of the most common pathways involved in chronic pain is Nav1.7. The researchers of this latest study – led by Prof. Glenn King of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at The University of Queensland in Australia – believe targeting this pathway could help treat a wide range of pain conditions.”A compound that blocks Nav1.7 channels is of particular interest for us,” says Prof. King. “Previous research shows indifference to pain among people who lack Nav1.7 channels due to a naturally-occurring genetic mutation – so blocking these channels has the potential of turning off pain in people with normal pain pathways.”Read the rest of the article athttp://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290338.php.