Do opioids actually exacerbate chronic pain? 6 observations


University of Colorado Boulder researchers studied the impact of opioids on chronic pain in lab rats, according to Science News Hub.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published the study.


Here are six observations:


1. Researchers found opioids actually increased chronic pain in lab rats.


2. Following a few days of morphine therapy, the rats experienced continuous aches for many months.


3. The pain was increased due to pain signal discharges from specific backbone immune cells.


4. The opioids caused the rats' spinal cord glial cells to overreact, which led to spinal cord inflammation.


5. The resulting glial cell signaling cascade produced protein interleukin-1beta. This protein increases pain-responsive nerve cell activity, which heightens chronic pain.


6. The researchers conclude humans may similarly react to opioids and suffer long-term consequences from taking the medication. They also noted the results show how to block some glial cell receptors that recognize opioids.


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