Researchers have developed a test to determine the strength of pain
A test developed by researchers at Indiana University can be used to determine how severe pain a patient is experiencing. The test is based on a blood test and is the first test to objectively determine the intensity of pain.
Professor Alexander Niculescu of the Indiana University School of Medicine is behind the groundbreaking work. He and his team have examined hundreds of patientsow Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center to identify biomarkeroin the blood, ktore would help objectively determine the intensity of bolu in the patient.
Such a test would allow doctors to be more accurate in treating bolu and could solve the opioid crisis – it is estimated that since the antibol drugoMore than two million Americans are addicted to opioidsow. Each year from an opioid overdoseow die more than 50,000. US citizens.
The results of the study were published on „Molecular Psychiatry”.
– We have developed a prototype blood test thatore can objectively tell doctors whether a patient is suffering and how severe that bol. It is very important to have an objective measure of bolu, since the b itselfol is a subjective sensation. Until now, doctors have had to rely on patient assessmentow,” said Niculescu. – When we started our work, we only had an idea, whichory was to find a way to more accurately select therapies and doses of drugsoincluding whichoers are suffering – added.
During the study, the scientists looked at biomarkers found in the blood. Just as glucose serves as a biomarker for diabetesow, these biomarkers allow doctors to assess the strength of bolu experienced by the patient and provide treatment in an objective, measurable wayob.
– The opioid epidemic emerged because addictive drugs were over-prescribed. This came from the simple fact that until now there was no objective measure of whether someone was feeling bol or how severe the bol. Doctors prescribed anti-bolowe when a patient claimed to feel bol. It has created a huge problem. We need alternatives to opioidsow, but we also need to treat people in a precise wayob. The test, whichory we developed, allows us to do so,” admitted Niculescu.
Oprocz to provide an objective measure of bolu, the blood test helps doctors match biomarkers in a patient’s blood with potential treatment options. Researchers use prescription database for this – similar to imprint databasesoin fingerow used by the FBI – to match biomarkers bolu to profile the drugoin and compoundsoIn the natural cataloged in the database.
– Biomarker is like a fingerprint of. We put it into a database and see ktory compound will be the best to use,” said Niculescu. He added that often the best identified treatment is a non-opioid drug. – We have found that someore compounds, whichore have been used for decades to treat other things, they are best suited to biomarkerow bolu. We can match biomarkers to existing drugow or natural compoundsoIn, ktore would reduce or eliminate the need for opioid useow – he added.
This study opens the door to precision-guided medicine bolu. When prescribing medications in a mannerob more suitable for the individual, this prototype can pomoc in alleviating the dilemmaow thatore contributed to the current epidemic of opioid addictionow.
– With precision medicine, we offer patients treatments tailored directly to them and their needs. We first wanted to find universal markers for bolu and we succeeded. However, we know, based on our data, that there are some markers thatore work better for men, others work better for women. Perhaps there are also markers, ktore work better on bole head, bol abdomen, etc. We hope to conduct further research in this particular direction – announced Niculescu.