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Pain progress.

A CHEMICAL extracted from coral could provide new hope for sufferers of chronic nerve pain, it was claimed.

Neuropathic pain, which follows damage to the nerves, can be debilitating and is hard to control even with morphine. It can result in the slightest disturbance producing intense pain, for instance a cold draught or light brushing of the skin. Experiencing normally mildly uncomfortable stimuli as very painful is known as hyperalgesia. The newly tested chemical, capnellene, was first isolated in 1974 from capnella imbricata - a soft coral from Green Island, Taiwan. Capnellene has a structure very different from other painrelieving drugs. Scientists at the National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan found that the chemical reversed hyperalgesia in laboratory rats.

Study leader Dr ZhiHong Wen said: "To provide better quality of life, we need new drugs that have specific functions with low side effects. We need better management for chronic pain."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 10, 2009
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