Monday, May 21, 2007
Potential drug for chronic pain?
A new era in pain research may be coming. A particular class of sodium nerve channels (resistant to tetrodotoxin) are central in generating pain signals. Extensive screening for drugs that block this channel have yielded A-803467, a furan-amide. Jarvis et al. show that this drug attenuates neuropathic and inflammatory pain in a rat model. Chronic pain affects about 1.5 million people worldwide, and is currently treated with sodium channel blockers originally developed as anticonvulsants or antiarrhythmics. While beneficial for some patients, their clinical usefulness has been limited.