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Basic Science

Promising Advances in the Search for Safer Opioids

New studies show that two novel compounds powerfully suppressed animals’ pain responses, while producing little or none of the respiratory depression and liability for misuse and abuse associated with morphine and other typical opioids.

Treatment

Potential Pain Medication Targets Peripheral Nerves

Researchers report a significant advance in the search for medications that can suppress pain but avoid opioids’ abuse potential and other undesirable CNS effects. A new compound reduces mouse responses in animal models of neurogenic and chronic inflammatory (e.g., arthritic) pain. The compound, called UB937, enhances the natural pain-killing activity of the neurotransmitter anandamide, and exerts its analgesic effects entirely in peripheral tissues, without entering the brain.

Prevention

Program Helps Troubled Boys Reduce Substance Abuse

Chronically delinquent boys in Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care reduced their substance abuse more than boys assigned to Community Group Care.

Treatment

Morphine Speeds AIDS Onset in Monkeys

Highlights the work of investigators who discovered key ways in which morphine may accelerate the progression of AIDS in animal studies.

Antipsychotic Drug Prevents Morphine Tolerance in Mice

Summarizes animal studies indicating that an antipsychotic drug, trifluoperazine, prevents morphine tolerance in mice.

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