Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Disscoiation between analgesic and addictive effects of pain-killers

Common pain-killers like Morphine have both pair-relieving as well as tolerance and addictive effects. Opiates, it had been theorized earlier, were able to relieve pain via a mechanism that involved the neurotransmitter Serotonin. For the first time , this has been decisively proved to be so, by examining the effects of pain-killer on mice that were engineered to have the serotonin producing gene, Lxmb, silenced in the 5-HT neurons. As such these mice completely lacked serotonin in their brains.

It was found that these mice exhibited more sensitivity to pain and also morphine, or other opiates, were not able to relive the pain in these mice. On the other hand the addictive effects of morphine remained intact.

I am tempted to conjecture further. Is it the case that psychological and physical pain share the same neural substrates? Remember that low levels of serotonin cause depression, in which the sensitivity to psychological pain is elevated. this is similar to the fact that the sensitivity for physical pain is heightened in mice lacking serotonin.I am further tempted to stick my neck out and recommend that the experiment be perormed with mice that have dopamine producing neurons silenced in the brain. If such mice can survive to adulthood, would they exhibit the analgesic effects of morphine, but not its addictive effects? anyway this dissociation between analgesic and addictive effects of morphine would have serious pharmacological effects.

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1 comment:

Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA said...

Hi Sandy,
I am sorry that I do not know very much about your topic, but I wanted to let you know about myself. My motivation is not narcissistic, but altruistic. Thank you for your time and kindness my friend.

My name is Craig J. Phillips. I am a traumatic brain injury survivor and a master’s level rehabilitation counselor. I sustained an open skull fracture with right frontal lobe damage and remained in a coma for 3 weeks at the age of 10 in August of 1967. I underwent brain and skull surgery after waking from the coma. Follow-up cognitive and psychosocial testing revealed that I would not be able to succeed beyond high school. In 1967 Neurological Rehabilitation was not available to me, so I had to teach myself how to walk, talk, read, write and speak in complete sentences. I completed high school on time and went on to obtain both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. For an in depth view of my process please read my post, http://secondchancetolive.wordpress.com/2007/02/18/my-journey-thus-far/

Through out my lifetime I developed strategies to overcome many obstacles and in so doing I have achieved far beyond all reasonable expectations. On February 6, 2007 at the encouragement of a friend I created Second Chance to Live. Second Chance to Live, which is located at http://secondchancetolive.wordpress.com presents topics in such a way to encourage, motivate and empower the reader to live life on life’s terms. I believe our circumstances are not meant to keep us down, but to build us up. As a traumatic brain injury survivor, I speak from my experience, strength and hope. As a professional, I provide information to encourage, motivate and empower both disabled and non-disabled individuals to not give up on their process.

Please encourage your readers to visit Second Chance to Live at http://secondchancetolive.wordpress.com

Thank you for your time and kindness.

Have a simply phenomenal day!

Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA
Second Chance to Live

Our circumstances are not meant to keep us down, but to build us up!