This Blog Talks About…
- Researchers from the University of Queensland identified seven peptides in spider venom that can block pain signals to the brain.
- One peptide in particular has the potential to become it’s one pain-killing medication.
- The team at American Spine explain the possibility of spider venom becoming the next breakthrough for chronic pain.
According to recent studies from the University of Queensland, spider venom may be the key to blocking a particular channel in the brain associated with pain and inflammation. Professor Glenn King of the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience stated evidence shows people who lack Nav1.7 channels usually report indifference to pain. Therefore, by blocking that channel, people with normal pain pathways will be able to report similar feelings.
So what does that have to do with spider venom? Well, researchers were able to determine that spider venom containing certain protein molecules have the ability to block nerve activity, which could be useful in modern medicine. Further research also found certain compounds within spider venom may be useful in treating other disease like muscular dystrophy.
Of the 206 different species of spiders screened (with venom), investigators were able to determine the following:
- Forty-percent (40%) of the venoms contained one compound that blocked human Nav1.7 channels
- Seven venom compounds were particularly promising for pain relief
- One venom compound was incredibly potent, containing chemical, thermal and biological stability—all qualities needed to create a new drug.
These findings are still in research mode, and it could be some time before clinical trials are set-up to test the theory. Nevertheless the team at American Spine will monitor this development closely and report back with any relevant updates.
At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.