Research Highlights

PET Scans Provide First Evidence for Glial Activation in Brain in Chronic Pain Patients Tracer lights up thalamus in people with lower back pain

      "Evidence for brain glial activation in chronic pain patients"

Loggia ML, Chonde DB, Akeju O, Arabasz G, Catana C, Edwards RR, Hill E, Hsu S, Izquierdo-Garcia D, Ji R-R, Riley M, Wasan AD, Z├╝rcher NR, Albrecht DS, Vangel MG, Rosen BR, Napadow V, Hooker JM.  Brain. 2015 Jan 12.



 The Ross lab has identified a population of spinal interneurons - B5-I neurons - that function to inhibit itch. They foound that B5-I neurons release of the kappa opioid dynorphin, which bidirectionally modulates itch sensitivity. In addition, they suggest that B5-I neurons mediate the inhibition of itch by chemical counter-stimuli such as menthol. These findings, which were published in Neuron, suggest that kappa opioids may be a broadly effective therapy for pathological itch.