Ion Channel Responsible for Pain Identified by UB Neuroscientists

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — University at Buffalo neuroscience researchers conducting basic research on ion channels have demonstrated a process that could have a profound therapeutic impact on pain.

Targeting these ion channels pharmacologically would offer effective pain relief without generating the side effects of typical painkilling drugs, according to their paper, published in a recent issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

“Pain is the most common symptom of injuries and diseases, and pain remains the primary reason a person visits the doctor,” says Arin Bhattacharjee, PhD, UB assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the School of Medicine and Biological Sciences, director of the Program in Neuroscience and senior author on the paper.

“Fifty million Americans suffer from chronic pain, costing between $100-200 billion a year in medical expenses, lost wages and other costs,” says Bhattacharjee. “The need to understand pain mechanisms remains paramount for human health and for society.”

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