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Snail Venom: How It Can Aid In Pain Therapy

Update Date: Feb 21, 2017 07:10 AM EST

Scientists from the United States suggest that besides paralyzing and killing its prey, venom from small snails contains a compound that can act as a long-lasting pain relief. The initial experiment was conducted on mice, and the generated compound helped in relieving the pain in the animals for three days.

Latest news from BBC reveals that the venom from small snails can be used to generate a compound that can be used in treating chronic pain. This new therapy in relieving pain is an option researcher are exploiting to provide a solution for patients who has already consumed all possible options.

Opioid are the most commonly used medication to resolve moderate to severe pain. This substance works by sending signals to the brain to reduce an individual's perception of pain. This is performed by attaching distinct proteins in the brain as well as other organs of the body, called opioid receptors.

However, the substance found in the venom of the Conus Regius Snail works differently. The discovery was included in the writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by the researchers who have conducted the experiment at the University of Utah.

The compound worked like morphine but is not addictive compared to other opioid substances. This discovery also opens that possibility of creating a treatment for chronic pain.

Meanwhile, in other news, lower back pain treatment guidelines were released from the American College of Physicians. According to Yahoo News, the ACP concluded that pharmacological interventions provided fewer benefits for addressing lower back pain and can put a person at greater risk compared to nonpharmacological therapy.

This discovery suggests that alternative therapies should be explored - massage, spinal manipulation, acupuncture, tai chi, yoga and cognitive-behavioral therapy to address lower back pain instead of taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Studies are further being conducted to discover and develop therapies and alternative medications to treat chronic pain. The discovery of the compound present in the venom of the small snail is just a step towards new possibilities in providing a possible treatment for chronic pain.

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