Medical researchers believe they’ve found a way to block the gene responsible for chronic pain! This could prove to be quite helpful for those of us who suffer from severe back aches and sciatica pain. University of Cambridge researchers were able to remove the HCN2 gene from pain-sensitive nerves in mice. They believe that this gene is responsible for evoking the pain itself. It seems they were right! “By measuring the speed that the mice withdrew from different types of painful stimuli, the scientists were able to conclude that deleting the HCN2 gene abolished neuropathic pain,” reports the BBC.
In addition to being common to lower back pain, neuropathic pain is also often seen in patients with diabetes and shingles, and in the aftermath of cancer chemotherapy, according to the BBC.
Professor Peter McNaughton, the lead author of the study and the head of the department of pharmacology at the University of Cambridge, told the BBC there was now hope for these patients.
“Individuals suffering from neuropathic pain often have little or no respite because of the lack of effective medications. Our research lays the groundwork for the development of new drugs to treat chronic pain by blocking HCN2.”
Yes, the research is still only on mice. But its implications, especially for those who suffer from chronic back pain in particular, are extremely encouraging!