The role of human ion channels and transporters in neuropathic pain


  • Prof David Bennett

    University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Project summary

Neuropathic pain affects nearly 1 in 10 people and unfortunately current treatments for it remain inadequate. Hyper-excitability of neurons, which occurs following injury is a critical driver of neuropathic pain. Ion channels are responsible for electrical signalling within the nervous system, however, we don't understand which changes among the many ion channels result in neuronal hyper-excitability and pain. We have found that genetic changes in ion channels can be responsible for rare, inherited pain disorders. More recently we have also seen that they are associated with common neuropathic pain disorders, such as diabetic neuropathy. We will use human cellular and animal models to understand the mechanisms by which altered function in ion channels leads to neuropathic pain. We will determine if individuals with genetic changes in ion channels present with particular sensory symptoms. By doing this we aim to find new treatment targets and improve treatment selection for neuropathic pain.