Pain gene therapy may be safer and not addictive Opioid alternatives Concentration. Researchers have developed a novel therapeutic approach in which they temporarily suppress a gene that is involved in the perception of pain. This increased pain tolerance in the mice, reduced their sensitivity to pain, and provided months of pain relief without causing numbness.
Promise gene therapy for pain
Gene therapy can be used to treat a wide variety of chronic pain conditions. This pain ranges from the lower back to rare nerve pain disorders. The latter are cases where pain relievers are the current standard of care. On the other hand, opioids can make people more sensitive to pain over time. This leads to the fact that they have to rely on ever higher doses. The researchers’ genetic mutation disrupts protein activity in nerve cells in the spinal cord. This is called NaV1.7. In people without functional NaV1.7, sensations such as touching something hot or sharp are not recorded as pain. The team also developed a CRISPR / dead Cas9 system to target and suppress the gene encoding NaV1.7. They gave mice with inflammatory and chemotherapy-induced pain. Test animals showed correspondingly higher pain thresholds than mice that did not receive this gene therapy for pain.
To validate their results, the researchers then ran the same tests using a different instrument. It was an older technology than CRISPR that did the same job. Here, the researchers designed zinc fingers that likewise bind to the genetic target and inhibit the expression of NaV1.7. Spinal injection of zinc fingers into mice gave the same results for the Cas9 Dead CRISPR system. Scientists claim that this solution can work in a large number of chronic pain conditions. This includes diabetic neuropathy, sciatica, and osteoporosis. The treatment can also provide relief for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Next, the researchers will work to refine both approaches to target the human gene. Trials will be conducted with non-human primates to test efficacy and toxicity. Additionally, the authors go this study We expect human clinical trials to begin within a few years.