Thursday, 23 February 2012

Off switch for pain: proof of concept

Researchers may have invented an off switch for pain.  They delivered a dumbbell-shaped molecule related to lidocaine to the surface of a test neuron.  The bridge between the two fat ends of the molecule is light sensitive. Getting a little light released near the bridge makes the bridge kink and the molecule begins to behave as a pain killer.  It acts right on the receptor surfaces of the specific neuron.   This available-on-demand  pain suppressor can be targeted to take up residence only where needed in the body.  Photons can be released at the site (by fluorescence?) or transmitted through the skin.

A long long way to go before a real off-switch is developed but this is still a breakthrough.
Science Daily News link.  A lot of pain information is redundant because you already know darn well that something is wrong and are doing everything in your power to fix it.

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