December 27, 2011
School of Pharmacy, Kochi
Pain influences the general well-being of an individual.
Classified into acute or chronic, malignant or non-malignant, nociceptive or neuropathic, pain affects the quality of our life.
Recently, an expert talk on pain was organized at the Health Sciences campus. The speaker, Dr. Rajan Radhakrishnan, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Southern Nevada, elaborated on different types of pain, focusing mainly on neuropathic pain, including its pathophysiology and pharmacology.
Dr. Rajan was addressing the staff and students of the Amrita School of Pharmacy.
“Neuropathic pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience. The focal area of pain is the neurons or nerve cells,” he stated.
“Diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, AIDS, cancer and spinal cord trauma, causes neuropathic pain. It affects the normalcy of sleep, work and daily activities of the patient,” he added.
The speaker highlighted recent studies at the Department of Medicine of the Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry that found that quality of life is substantially impaired among patients with neuropathic pain.
The talk provided comprehensive information on pain processing with an emphasis on drug therapy.
“Pain processing involves four major routes i.e., transduction, transmission, modulation and perception,” the speaker noted.
Dr. Rajan mentioned a specialised kind of pain receptor, VR1, that senses pain caused by heat as in fire accidents.
Different drugs used for the treatment of neuropathic pain were discussed.
“Drugs like tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants are used to treat neuropathic pain. Morphine sulphate is administered as intramuscular injection,” Dr. Rajan shared.
“The topic is more research oriented and shall open new research areas in the fields of pharmacology and medicinal chemistry here,” noted Mr. Manoj K., Assistant Professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis at the Amrita School of Pharmacy.