In an effort to find new treatments for people suffering from neuropathic pain, Yale University neurologists have managed to repair neurons associated with traumatic nerve injury pain in rats.
Neuropathic pain associated with diabetes, shingles, and traumatic injury affects up to 18 percent of the population and can be difficult or impossible to effectively treat. Using gene therapy, Yale neurologists have managed to repair neurons associated with traumatic nerve injury pain in rats.
“Since the therapy targets only cells in the pain-sensing neurons outside the brain and spinal cord, this method can avoid some of cognitive problems associated with other pain therapies that also work on the central nervous system,” said Omar Samad, research scientist in neurology and lead author of the paper published online August 21 in the journal Molecular Therapy.
Reference: “Virus-mediated shRNA Knockdown of Nav1.3 in Rat Dorsal Root Ganglion Attenuates Nerve Injury-induced Neuropathic Pain” by Omar A Samad, Andrew M Tan, Xiaoyang Cheng, Edmund Foster, Sulayman D Dib-Hajj and Stephen G Waxman, 21 August 2012, Molecular Therapy.
The work was conducted in the laboratory of Stephen Waxman, the Bridget M. Flaherty Professor of Neurology and director of the center for neuroscience and regeneration research, and it was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Nancy Taylor Foundation for Chronic Diseases.
Other authors are Andrew Tan, Xiaoyang Chen, Edmund Foster, and Sulayman Dib-Hajj.