New Device Could Potentially Be an Answer to Addictive Pain Medicine

Thursday, 14 April 2016 - 8:25PM
Neuroscience
Medical Tech
Thursday, 14 April 2016 - 8:25PM
New Device Could Potentially Be an Answer to Addictive Pain Medicine
There's no arguing that the U.S. doesn't have a problem with the abuse of opioids and painkillers. However, a new device created by a research team from the University of Texas at Arlington could be one of the answers to some of the widespread problems associated with prescription pain medicine.

The device delivers electrical currents the brain, blocking pain signals at the spinal cord level. It also triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. The researchers behind the device say that this is to decrease the emotional distress brought on by long-term pain.

Here's what Yuan Bo Peng, one of the professor's at UTA working on the project, had to say about the new device:

Opening quote
This is the first study to use a wireless electrical device to alleviate pain by directly stimulating the ventral tegmental area of the brain…While still under laboratory testing, this new method does provide hope that in the future we will be able to alleviate chronic pain without the side effects of medications.
Closing quote


These discoveries that Peng mentions were first detailed by he and a partner in a leading journal of neuroscience called Experimental Brain Research.

Obviously, testing is in early phases right now. However, the idea that this device could help in stemming the tide of new opioid addicts is absolutely amazing and revolutionary. Hopefully, this new piece of technology proves to be foolproof, and accomplishes exactly what the researchers at UTA are hoping it will.
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