Youthful protection

iStock_MouseHandFeaturedChildren may be protected from developing neuropathic pain conditions found in adults thanks to their immune systems. An animal study in Journal of Neuroscience finds that injury spurs the release of anti-inflammatory molecules in young, but not adult, rodents.

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Gate keepers for mechanical pain

gatectlA study in Cell identifies neurons in the spinal cord that make up a key circuit for processing mechanical pain. The findings offer hope that mechanical pain may be selectively treated without interfering with the senses of heat, cold, or touch.

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No pain, time gained

CGRPThe loss of pain-transducing receptors called TRPV1 paves the way to a long life, according to a study published May 22 in Cell. Mice lacking TRPV1 live longer and have a more youthful metabolism than age-matched control mice, and this longevity relied on decreasing calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). The results suggest that TRPV1 blockers in development for pain, or CGRP blockers now being tested to treat migraine headaches, could have health-promoting side effects.

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