Chronic Pain Gene - HCN2 - Identified, Hopes For New Targeted Pain Drugs

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Post by Tee on Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:15 am

Article Date: 10 Sep 2011 - 15:00 PDT

A gene called HCN2 produces a protein which regulates chronic pain, researchers from Cambridge University, England, and the University of Cadiz, Spain reported in the journal Science. They added that medications which inhibit the gene's protein production could be extremely effective in combating chronic pain.

Chronic pain, also known as persistent pain, is long-term pain that lasts over 12 weeks, or pain that continues after healing is completed and pain should have stopped, as may be the case after surgery or trauma.

Chronic pain is estimated to affect about 1 in every 7 people in the UK. In the USA, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) says that up to 56 million adults suffer from chronic pain, that's 28% of all adults in the country - 4 million have neuropathic pain, 20 million have jaw and lower facial pain, 25 million have migraine pain, 48 million have arthritis pain, and 16 million have lower-back pain.

There are two main types of chronic pain:
Inflammatory pain - this occurs when a persistent injury causes the nerve endings to become much more sensitive, consequently raising the sensation of pain.
Neuropathic pain - nerve damage causes continuous pain. Current drugs are not very good at treating this common condition. Patients with diabetes, shingles, those undergoing or who underwent chemotherapy, lower back pain, and some other conditions have a significantly higher risk of being affected by this kind of pain.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/234213.php

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