Seratonin, a neurotransmitter long thought to promote feelings of well-bring and happiness, could also cause chronic pain by making nerves hyperactive, according to a new study at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland.
The discovery could help scientists understand and develop new ways of treating Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), trigeminal neuralgia, and other chronic pain conditions.
In studies on mice, researchers identified two molecules that appear to have a role in the phenomenon that causes uninjured parts of the body to become sensitive to pain when an area nearby has been hurt. A summary of their research is published in the journal Neuron.
“With the identification of these molecules, we have some additional targets that we can try to block to decrease chronic pain,” says Xinzhong Dong, PhD, an associate professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“We found that persistent pai…