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New hope for chronic pain sufferers

Millions of people suffer from acute or chronic pain
Amanda Mills / CDC

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed a drug known as BL-7050. It offers new hope to patients with neuropathic pain. The medication inhibits the transmission of pain signals throughout the body. In both in-vitro and in-vivo experiments measuring electrical activity of neurons, the compound has been shown to prevent the hyper-excitability of neurons – protecting not only against neuropathic pain, but epileptic seizures as well.

Millions of people suffer from acute or chronic pain every year, and it costs society at least $560 – $635 billion annually. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs reports that in a 2011 public telephone survey over 27 percent of Michigan residents have sought treatment from a healthcare professional for a chronic pain condition in the past year. Perhaps there is hope.

Professor Bernard Attali, one of the developers of the medication, believes that BL-7050 could bring relief to hundreds of millions of patients around the world who suffer from neuropathic pain. The medication will reach the first phase of clinical trials in the near future.

According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, chronic pain is different than acute pain. Acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous systems for weeks, months, and even years. And neuropathic pain, caused by nerve or tissue damage, is the culprit behind many cases of chronic pain.

Tel Aviv press release

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