J&J scientists make a breakthrough in neuropathy

Scientists with Johnson & Johnson say they've identified a key process involved in creating neuropathic pain and believe they're well on their way to finding new drug targets to stop the pain. At the center of their work are ion channels that initiate constant and rhythmic pain signals to the brain. And they say that their increased understanding of the way that these pacemaker channels work will have implications in a variety of diseases, including inflammatory ailments.

"What we have shown in our early preclinical research is that we can inhibit the inappropriate neuronal activity and resulting sensitivity that follows nerve injury," said Alan Wickenden, Ph.D., Research Fellow in the Pain and Related Disorders Team at J&JPRD. "Trauma to nerves and the tissues that surround them seems to trigger a complicated cascade of events that results in an increase in the activity of these pacemaker ion channels and the resulting transmission of pain signals to the brain. We are encouraged by early evaluations of certain chemical structures that seem to disrupt this rhythmic transmission."

- see the release on their work in neuropathy