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Author Topic: How do nerve cells detect pain?  (Read 2064 times)

Offline thedoc

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How do nerve cells detect pain?
« on: 09/10/2013 13:30:01 »
STAPLETON Guy [Melville Senior High School]  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I teach protein synthesis to Year 12 students in Western Australia and the structure of proteins in the body has always fascinated me.

So is it a protein as part of the structure of a nerve that affects pain development or is it enzymes that are produced that effect pain development or both or something else? I get the ion channels bit.

Regards

Guy Stapleton
Science teacher
Melville SHS
Western Australia

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 09/10/2013 13:30:01 by _system »


 

Offline chris

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Re: How do nerve cells detect pain?
« Reply #1 on: 09/10/2013 23:42:12 »
Nociceptive (pain-detecting) nerve fibres are equipped with transducers - in the form of proteins or other structures - that alter their conformation or activity in response to the stimulus to which they are sensitive. This invariably leads to an ingress of charges (usually sodium ions) into the nerve ending resulting in what are dubbed "generator potentials". These depolarise the nerve ending. If the depolarisation is of sufficient magnitude to reach the firing threshold, voltage-sensitive ion channels are activated and the generator potentials become action potentials which are transmitted centripetally along the axon.

The more APs that are generated, the greater the perceived intensity of the pain, or, in the case of thermo-receptors, the higher the registered temperature.

Chris
 

Offline Pmb

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Re: How do nerve cells detect pain?
« Reply #2 on: 12/10/2013 08:00:46 »
Nociceptive (pain-detecting) nerve fibres are equipped with transducers - in the form of proteins or other structures - that alter their conformation or activity in response to the stimulus to which they are sensitive. This invariably leads to an ingress of charges (usually sodium ions) into the nerve ending resulting in what are dubbed "generator potentials". These depolarise the nerve ending. If the depolarisation is of sufficient magnitude to reach the firing threshold, voltage-sensitive ion channels are activated and the generator potentials become action potentials which are transmitted centripetally along the axon.

The more APs that are generated, the greater the perceived intensity of the pain, or, in the case of thermo-receptors, the higher the registered temperature.

Chris
How do opiates work to reduce percieved pain? How does opiate tolerance work?
 

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Re: How do nerve cells detect pain?
« Reply #2 on: 12/10/2013 08:00:46 »

 

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