Researchers Devise Decoy Molecule to Block Pain Where It Starts
Source: University of Texas Dallas
For anyone who has accidentally injured themselves, Dr. Zachary Campbell not only sympathizes, he's developing new ways to blunt pain. Campbell's team took the approach of blocking the creation of the proteins that set pain in motion. After an injury, instructions provided by the genome — the full set of genetic instructions present in each cell — are translated to create pain-signaling proteins. Those instructions are encoded in molecules called messenger RNA, or mRNA. The decoy Campbell's team constructed interrupts the pain-protein synthesis process that mRNA facilitates, reducing signs of inflammation and impairing pain behaviors.