Monday, May 9, 2011

Anesthesiology study: Resiniferatoxin may increase sepsis-related mortality

Scientists led by Zenaide Quezado, MD, director of the Pain Neurobiology Laboratory of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National have discovered that resiniferatoxin, a drug that has shown early promise as an option for chronic, severe pain sufferers, may decrease the body’s ability to fight off bacterial infections, particularly sepsis.

The study, which appears in the May 1 edition of the journal Anesthesiology, sheds new light on the role of a pain receptor, transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1), into how medications designed to impact this receptor’s relay of the pain sensation to the brain might work in humans. On May 4, Dr. Quezado presented her findings as part of a larger presentation on her work in pain neurobiology at Children’s National grand rounds. (see photo)

“Our job as pain medicine researchers is to try and uncover as much about these medications and side effects as possible so that we can monitor and treat those side effects," she said.

Resiniferatoxin shows great promise to ease chronic pain by targeting that pain in an entirely new way. The National Institutes of Health are undertaking a series of clinical trials in humans to determine its effectiveness.

Read the media release.

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