Newly Discovered Peptide May Offer Relief for Chronic Pain Sufferers

A new peptide may offer relief for people who suffer from chronic pain, according to a new study.And unlike current treatments, the peptide does not appear to have adverse side effects such as reduced motor coordination, memory loss or depression.

Indiana University School of Medicine researchers discovered the peptide, CBD3, which has been shown in mice to interfered with signals that navigate calcium channels to produce pain.

Most current treatments to block pain signals inhibit the influx of calcium, which is responsible for regulating heart rhythm and vital functions in other organs.  CBD3 instead binds to the calcium channel to reduce pain signals without interrupting calcium flow.

This makes CBD3 a potentially safer treatment than addictive opioids or an analgesic called Prialt that is injected into the spinal column, according to researchers.  Both opioids and Prialt can cause respiratory distress, cardiac irregularities and other problems.

The researchers hope their finding will herald a new gold standard for the control of chronic pain, which affects over 76 million Americans a year, according to the National Centers for Health Statistics.

The study was published in Nature Medicine.