New painkiller: local and long-lasting relief

Injections with a new compound that inhibits pain nerve cells greatly reduced pain behaviour in rodents
13 October 2021
Presented by Chris Smith
Production by Eva Higginbotham.




Pain relief after surgery is a major headache as we don’t have a lot of effective, and safe, options. Opioids in particular, like morphine, are very addictive and cause hundreds of thousands of deaths globally each year, and so doctors are desperate for alternatives. Now, scientists at the University of Buffalo have developed a long-lasting, local painkiller that can be injected into the site of injury to specifically prevent pain-transmitting nerve cells, or neurons, from passing on their painful messages to the brain. It works by stopping a process called endocytosis; this is where cells take up molecules from their surroundings and it’s a critical step in pain-conveying nerve cells; stopping it results in greatly reduced pain behaviours in the mice and rats studied so far. Eva Higginbotham heard more from Arin Bhattacharjee...


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