A new paper published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine describes the positive results of animal studies given a new experimental peptide designed to inhibit the receptors responsible for chronic neuropathic pain.
The research led by the University of Copenhagen is now moving towards the first human trials for this new type of treatment that can cure neuralgia, a chronic neuropathic pain that arises as a result of damage or malfunction of the nerves of the peripheral nervous system. or of the structures that make up the central nervous system.
"We have developed a new way to treat chronic pain", says the co-author of the new study, Kenneth Lindegaard Madsen. “It is a targeted treatment. That is, it does not affect general neuronal signaling, but only affects the specific nerve that undergoes changes caused by the disease. "
Some estimates suggest that nearly 10% of the world's population suffers from some sort of neuralgia or chronic neuropathic pain.
Caused by disease or damage to the somatosensory nervous system, this type of pain is notoriously difficult to treat with current medications, including opioids or anticonvulsants, which also cause negative side effects.
Tat-P4- (C5) 2, the formula against neuralgia
The innovation demonstrated in the new study is a peptide called Tat-P4- (C5) 2. Previous experimental treatments for neuropathic pain have worked by attenuating nerve pathways in general, however, side effects were often significant due to the lack of specific treatment targets. The new peptide developed by the research group suggests that it is possible to inhibit only the action of specific receptors responsible for the patient's neuropathic pain.