Pain

A new therapy shown to relieve extreme pain in mice, now moving towards human trials.

Human stem cells and “pain-killing neurons” have successfully relieved chronic pain in mice. The breakthrough method may be tested on human patients suffering untreatable pain within five years.



Researchers at the University of Sydney have used human stem cells to make pain-killing neurons that provide lasting relief in mice, without side effects, in a single treatment. The next step is to perform extensive safety tests in rodents and pigs, and then move to human patients suffering chronic pain within the next five years.

If the tests are successful in humans, it could be a major breakthrough in the development of new non-opioid, non-addictive pain management strategies for patients, the researchers said.

GAD65-67, proteins expressed specifically in "pain killing" neuronsIn red are GAD65-67, proteins expressed specifically in “pain killing” neurons.  Credit University of Sydney 

“Thanks to funding from the NSW Ministry of Health, we are already moving towards testing in humans,” said Professor Greg Neely, a leader in pain research at the Charles Perkins Centre and the School of Life and Environmental Sciences.



“Nerve injury can lead to devastating neuropathic pain and for the majority of patients there are no effective therapies. This breakthrough means for some of these patients, we could make pain-killing transplants from their own cells, and the cells can then reverse the underlying cause of pain.”

source University of Sydney