Molecular hydrogen to treat chronic pain?

Researchers from the Molecular Neuropharmacology Group coordinated by Olga Pol at the Sant Pau Research Institute and the UAB Institute of Neurosciences. (Photo: UAB)

Many people around the world suffer from neuropathic pain, and an even greater number from chronic pain. In the case of Spain, 20% of the adult population suffers from chronic pain, and between 7 and 10%, neuropathic pain. This pain, mostly caused by a nerve injury, makes people feel intense and often constant discomfort. Treatments are scarce and frequently entail a large number of adverse effects that greatly affect the quality of life of patients.

For this reason, from the Molecular Neuropharmacology Group coordinated by Olga Pol at the Sant Pau Research Institute in Barcelona and at the Institute of Neurosciences of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), they are looking for new therapeutic possibilities that can help people who have this disorder.

Now, in a recent study, they have analyzed the effects of administering water enriched with hydrogen molecules to mice that serve as models of neuropathic pain. This treatment has already been shown to have positive effects on neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease or depression. The results show that this strategy may be a good candidate for the treatment of neuropathic pain and associated emotional disorders, both for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as for its anxiolytic and antidepressant properties.

“This treatment can alleviate not only the pain caused by nerve damage, but also the states of anxiety and depression that accompany it, which would substantially improve the quality of life of patients. This is important because it can allow a more effective and global treatment of neuropathic pain with fewer side effects”, explains Olga Pol.

In the study, the treatment was administered to the mice by injection, but other routes, such as oral, will be tested in the future.

One of the next steps in this line of research will be to find out how the treatment works in animal models of pain associated with having undergone chemotherapy, since on many occasions cancer patients present neuropathic pain as a side effect of treatment. Another step will be to evaluate the effects of the new treatment on the memory and emotional deficits that these same patients may also suffer.

The study is titled “Hydrogen-Rich Water as a Novel Therapeutic Strategy for the Affective Disorders Linked with Chronic Neuropathic Pain in Mice”. And it has been published in the academic journal Antioxidants.

Source: UAB and NCYT® | ( /

¿Hidrógeno molecular para tratar el dolor crónico? | Noticias de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (Amazings® / NCYT®)

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