Animal study links natural opioids in body to recurrent pain

09/25/2013 | The Scientist online

The body releases natural opioid compounds after an injury to help reduce pain. A University of Kentucky animal study reported in the journal Science found that this pain-reducing mechanism can have an effect on opioid receptors that can later result in a recurrence of pain. "You have the same system, the same structure, involved in both the effect of analgesia -- in reducing pain sensation -- and in opioid dependence and chronic pain," said Flaminia Pavone, a Cell Biology and Neurobiology Institute in Italy neurobiologist who was not among the study's researchers.

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