New Gene Tech Developed To Curb Chronic Pain

Posted: Mar 14 2017, 1:40pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

New Gene Tech Developed to Curb Chronic Pain
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  • University of Utah Bioengineers utilize New Gene Technology to Wipe out Agony of Chronic Pain Patients
 

Engineers at the University of Utah have utilized a novel gene technology to wipe out the agony of chronic pain patients.

There are so many people caught in the throes of chronic pain due to their backbones giving in or their joints being swollen and inflamed. It means a lifelong debilitating existence that is not relieved by any means.

Yet now researchers are delving deep into methods of relieving chronic pain through certain pathways. One of these is the manipulation of genes that regulate inflammation in tissues and joints. This has a special application in case of arthritis.

The study was published this month in a special issue of the journal Tissue Engineering by title “CRISPR-Based Epigenome Editing of Cytokine Receptors for the Promotion of Cell Survival and Tissue Deposition in Inflammatory Environments.”

In backbone pain, it is often a slipped or herniated disc that is causing the shooting pain. The whole issue is actually one of inflammation. While inflammation lets the immune system know that “repair work” needs to be done at certain sites in the human body, in case of chronic pain, the attrition rate is so high that the damage cannot be contained.

That is why scientists have taken to using CRISPR gene-editing technology to fight inflammation and chronic pain in patients. The CRISPR technology is normally used to substitute or replace genes.

Yet here it is used to modulate genes so that they are turned “on” or “off”. Nothing in the genetic code of the patient is transformed in the process. Rather the expression of the genes is altered in a very subtle manner.

A simple injection can modify the genes. In case of lumbago, the patient can undergo a discectomy. Many other invasive surgical procedures may be prevented via this gene manipulation.

While results vary, most patients get a great deal of relief from chronic pain via this technique. Degeneration is stopped dead in its tracks and the healing process is allowed to occur.

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