Controlling pain is an essential component of palliative care, and researchers have discovered that the body's naturally occurring protein could have a key role in levels of discomfort.
Scientists at the University of Bordeaux have isolated a molecular signalling protein in rats associated with the transmission of nerve signals to the brain.
As a result of their findings, they have suggested therapeutic interventions targeting this protein to alleviate long-lasting pain.
Lead author professor Marc Landry explained: "We see potential in combining the use of inhibitors that interfere with the action of [protein] 14-3-3 zeta together with existing drug treatments … for chronic pain."
Previous studies have suggested targeting pain receptors responsible for controlling sensitivity to the two main causes of pain - inflammation and nerve damage.
Research published in the journal Nature Medicine in March suggest developing drugs to block this crucial receptor while leaving its other functions intact.
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