Published On: Thu, Jun 2nd, 2016

Painkillers may elevate duration of pain

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New researches have warned that the short-term verdict to take painkillers can have shocking effects of elevating pain and making it long lasting than normally.

The results could clarify the outburst of painkiller habit in the previous some decades.

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Peter Grace, who is the lead author of the study and Assistant Research Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder in the US, stated that “We are showing for the first time that even a brief exposure to opioids can have long-term negative effects on pain”,

The researchers discovered that opioids similar to morphine paradoxically source a boost in continual pain in lab rats.

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Grace stated that “The results suggest that the recent escalation of opioid prescriptions in humans may be a contributor to chronic pain,”

The research study illustrated that only some days of morphine treatment can be a reason for the continual pain that went on for numerous months by worsening the discharge of pain signals from particular immune cells in the spinal cord.

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Grace further added that “We found the treatment was contributing to the problem”,

The research study, presented in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, illustrated that a minor nerve wound in rats sends a message from injured nerve cells to spinal cord immune cells recognized as glial cells, which usually work as ‘housekeepers’ to clean-up undesired debris and microorganisms.

The initial signal of pain sends glial cells into a vigilant mode, leading them to additional act.

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When the damage was healed with only five days of opioids the glial cells went into overdrive, triggering a cascade of actions, involving spinal cord inflammation.

The team located that the pain signals from a minor damage mixed with later morphine treatment worked jointly to reason a glial cell signalling cascade.

The cascade makes a cell signal from a protein named interleukin-1beta (IL-1b), which elevates the action of pain-responsive nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain.

This can be a reason for elevation in pain period lasting numerous months.

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Linda Watkins, who is the Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, told that “The implications for people taking opioids like morphine, oxycodone and methadone are great since we show the short-term decision to take such opioids can have devastating consequences of making pain worse and longer lasting”,

Watkins further added that “This is a very ugly side to opioids that had not been recognized before”,

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.

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