TechnologyA painkiller in a new form thanks to AI
Molecules recently discovered thanks to artificial intelligence are able to reduce pain without having sedative effects, limiting the use of opiates.
Acting on the same receptors as clonidine and dexmedetomidine, these new molecules have no chemical link and may not be addictive. According to researchers at the University of California in San Francisco, these new molecules would be the best options to replace narcotics. Working with a much lower dose of opiates, they could best solve the problems of many people suffering from chronic pain.
It was by examining an adrenergic receptor that Allan Basbaum discovered that it was linked to the alleviation of pain. Subsequently, the researcher tried to find the substances that could activate it by browsing a virtual library of more than 300 million molecules. Excluding oversized molecules, he sorted, using a computer model, the remaining tens of thousands. And it was after numerous tests that he managed to reduce this number of molecules to six, tested on three types of mice to successfully alleviate acute and chronic pain.
A new painkiller at the key
While more research still needs to be done to determine the long-term use of these molecules, Basbaum believes the compound will not be addictive. This should help people with chronic pain, such as joint pain or back pain and inflammatory conditions that cannot be treated with opioids. These new painkillers could be a complete game-changer for these patients.