New discovery during pain study might help fight opioid abuse - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

New discovery during pain study might help fight opioid abuse

(Source: NBC News File Video) (Source: NBC News File Video)
WSFA/NBC -

Scientists at the University of Texas discovered something that has the potential to help fight the opioid abuse crisis growing in the United States.

The studies point to a solution hidden in our own brains. They targeted receptors that were not getting attention from big pharmacy.

Professor of Chemistry at University of Texas, Stephen Martin said, "We decided better than to compete with the pharmaceutical industry, we might play on the sidelines where they didn't have a keen interest."

Their team built a new chemical compound, a drug to target pain felt by those receptors. When they compared it to a nerve pain reliever already on the market, the drug they made required smaller doses and lasted longer.

"Of course we want to avoid all the side effects associated with opioids but because this class of compounds doesn't target receptors associated with addiction and reward, we feel there's a chance these types of compounds may be free of addictive properties," said Dr. James Sahn.

They'll need to keep testing, but they think that others, including pharmaceutical companies, will get involved and will facilitate the process in getting this from bench to bedside.

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