Human Pain Signals Are Faster Than Earlier Considered

The latest study highlighted that the pain signals have an ability to travel as fast as touch signals. In this study, researchers from Liverpool John Moores University in the U.K., Linköping University in Sweden, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the U.S. were involved. The research is published in the journal Science Advances.

The unearthing of a rapid pain-signaling system defies our present understanding of pain. Until now, it has been considered that nerve signals for pain are always carried more slowly than those for touch signals. The latter signals permit an individual to determine where they are being touched. These signals are conducted by nerves that hold a fatty cover of myelin, which is responsible for insulating the nerve. Nerves with a thick coating of myelin carry signals more speedily than unmyelinated nerves. On the contrary, the signaling of pain in humans has been considered to be significantly slower and conducted by nerves that have only a thin coating of myelin, or none at all.

On a similar note, a novel study suggests that a huge majority of individuals using heroin and fentanyl might be willing to use safe consumption spaces. In these spaces, they expect to get sterile syringes and medical support in case of overdose. This study is headed by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In the research, published recently in the Journal of Urban Health, scientists surveyed about 326 users of fentanyl, heroin, and illicit opioid pills. This survey was carried out in Boston, Baltimore, and Providence. These are the cities hard-hit by America’s continuing opioid overdose outbreak. Almost 77% of participants in the survey reported a willingness to use safe consumption spaces, authorized sites which have been set up and evaluated. Such places can be seen in countries such as Australia and Canada but not yet in the U.S.

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