Jan 6, 2018

A nonaddictive opioid painkiller with no side effects

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

What if scientists could develop an opioid-based painkiller that is not addictive and has limited side effects?

That is possible based on new findings by an international team of scientists that included contributions from top researchers at the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience.

The international team captured the crystal structure of the kappa opioid receptor—critical for providing pain relief—in action on the surface of human brain cells. The researchers also made another important discovery: a new opioid-based compound that, unlike current opioids, activates only the kappa opioid receptor, raising hopes that they may develop a painkiller that has no risk of addiction and, therefore, none of the devastating consequences and side effects that accompany it.

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