A neural "off-switch" for pain documented


So does that mean that caffeine makes pain worse and/or inhibits pain reduction? In the very least it would inhibit the results of adenosine agonists. No coffee for you, study participants.

Important missing keywords: IN RODENTS.


We’ve heard this a lot when a new pain killer comes out – heroin, Oxycodone, these were all hoped that they would be non-addictive or less addictive. This isn’t the opiate pathway. so hopefully, maybe, this time. But it’s reasonable to be somewhat skeptical until more data are collected.


Important missing keywords: IN RODENTS.


As someone who suffers from chronic neuropathic pain, I’m excited to hear this, but as some of us are painfully aware, chronic neuropathic pain is very different from normal standard-issue trauma or inflammatory pain. Many painkillers that work well on normal pain do very little for neuropathic pain (I personally find opioids entirely useless, f’rex).

Likewise, something that works well with neuropathic pain may or may not be effective for normal pain. Pregabalin, an antiseizure medication I take, helps with neuropathic pain (and no one knows why, exactly), but does nothing for arthritis/sore muscles/etc., IME.

So the headline-hype phrase “an off switch for pain” should probably be qualified as "an off-switch for some kinds of pain in rodents

It might become more than that - but that’s all the linked report actually says.


Nerd alert – the image labeled Open single-pole single-throw (SPST) knife switch is really of a closed double-pole single-throw (DPST) knife switch. This changes everything.


Hopefully their experimental agent doesn’t have much cross-reactivity with cardiac A1 receptors. Adenosine itself can be used to slow or stop the heart (briefly!) in the treatment and diagnosis of very fast heart rates, due to its effect on those receptors. So it could certainly be an effective “off switch” in a high enough dose …

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Why is this even news? Just gland some Diffuse and…

Oh. Earth. Right.


Reduce pain with an agonist, eh?

Receptors can be facilitatory or inhibitory, as synapses have little feedback loops that damp their responses to prevent wild swings. An agonist at an inhibitory receptor will damp down the synaptic response. For instance agonists at the a2 adrenergic receptors (clonidine, dexmedetomidine and the like) act as sedatives and antihypertensives, while also having some analgesic effects in humans. Drugs in the same group are true anaesthetics in many animals. Vet friends tell me they are very useful anaesthetic drugs and I need to be jealous …

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The “SPST switch” link is to the thumbnail image of an SPST knife switch on the BB front page, not the fancier switch at the top of the article page. So the link title is correct.

However, clicking on that link reveals that the image is mirrored. At least the word LEVITON on the handle is reversed.

You may now resume discussing pain.

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I’d say is time to get nekked.

What we really need is something get rid of things that are a pain in the butt.

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I’d start with Preparation H.

…and my sympathies go to the testers of Preparations A to G…

You mean to say the the Single Click Single Jump hyperlink is misleading? Can we trust nothing any longer?

If only I could.

I know a fair number of people who have spent their lives in that category.

I have some back issues that flare up once in a while. I work with a pain specialist, who gets me on NSAIDs for the initial acute phase (just paracetamol and ibuprofen - despite the pain, I don’t do the harder stuff)

He has done a lot of work around the brain mechanisms of pain, and has tricked me at various times into astonished disbelief about the pain. His special magic trick is to make it disappear, then work on me to persuade me the pain isn’t a thing, but a sensation with emergency cognitive processes to protect the body.

It works! Annoyingly.

An accumulation of apparently simple devices to confound an disrupt established brain patterns around pain. Like touching the sore bit while looking back into a mirror, and noticing that no matter how I push and shove, the perception of pain does not alter, and even simply goes away.

Between that and a somewhat rigorous regime of exercises and stretching, I’m essentially, when in “uptime”, as operational as when I was 20. Which was a while back now.


Scariest thing I ever did as a new paramedic was my first field fast push of adenodine on a SVT(~200bpm). I think it was five seconds of asystole but it seemed like a minute. Weird to see a conscious person laying on a exam table at a family Dr’s office looking at you as you do this, with a stitches and penicillin doctor who probably has an expired ACLS card watching, when the line on the ECG/defibrilator goes all flat until a normal rhythm returns. It sure is a relief to the patient who felt like their throttle was stuck to the floor though.