Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genotyping & Gene Expression
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Stanford Study Recruits Twins for Pharmacogenetic Study of Opiates

Published: Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Last Updated: Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Bookmark and Share
Investigators are recruiting twins for a study to determine whether addiction potential variations are due primarily to environmental factors or inherited traits.

Opiates such as morphine and codeine are the primary prescription medication for pain relief, but just how well these drugs work varies significantly from patient to patient. And no one really knows why.

Certain patients may require 10 times the amount of opiates, also known as narcotics, to get the same level of pain relief as others. Side effects such as nausea or sedation can be debilitating to some, while nonexistent for others. Addiction potential also varies from patient to patient.

“We rely heavily on narcotics as the cornerstone medication for the relief of moderate to severe pain,” said Martin Angst, MD, associate professor of anesthesia at the Stanford University School of Medicine and one of two principal investigators in a new study exploring individual variations in reactions to opiate use. “Yet we don’t know a lot of things, like why some people ‘like’ narcotics more than others - that could be key in determining addiction potential.”

In an attempt to determine whether these variations are due primarily to environmental factors or inherited traits, investigators at Stanford are recruiting twins for a study titled “Opiate efficacy: a twin study.” The three-year study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, requires 125 pairs of twins to come in for one day of work in the pain research laboratory at Stanford.

“The core of the study is really to provide insight into what should be done to improve narcotic use in the future,” said Angst, the lab’s director. David Clark, MD, PhD, associate professor of anesthesia, is the other principal investigator on the study.

“If the causes of individual variations are primarily environmental, it would make sense to conduct epidemiological studies,” Angst said. “If the causes are primarily genetic, the next step would be to invest in studies of the genome that could uncover key genes regulating pain and analgesic pathways. Such studies could uncover novel therapeutic targets and help guide the development of new pain medications. They could also lead to more rational pain therapies tailored to an individual’s genetic makeup thus reducing the risk of adverse events while optimizing pain control,” Angst said.

Twins who volunteer for the study will have their pain sensitivity measured by using a mild heat probe and by immersing a hand in ice-cold water, both before and during an infusion of the opiate alfentanil.

Researchers will also compare individual variations in levels of sedation, mental acuity, respiratory depression, nausea and drug-liking - a surrogate measure of addiction potential - between identical twins, non-identical twins and non-related subjects. This will provide an estimate of the extent to which variations in responses to opiates are inherited.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,100+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Ultra-Sensitive Test for Cancers, HIV
Test developed that is thousands of times more sensitive than current diagnostics.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Marker Identifies Most Basic Form of Blood Stem Cell
Nearly 30 years after the discovery of the hematopoietic stem cell, Stanford researchers have found a marker that allows them to study the version of these stem cells that continues to replicate.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Flexible Gene Expression May Regulate Social Status
Scientists show how the selective expression of genes through epigenetics can regulate the social status of African cichlid fish.
Monday, January 11, 2016
Viral Infections Leave a Signature on the Immune System
A test that queries the body’s own cells can distinguish a viral infection from a bacterial infection and could help doctors know when to use antibiotics.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Novel Approach to Understanding Brain Function
Russell Poldrack scanned his brain to create the most detailed map of brain connectivity ever.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Gene Linked to Heart Failure
Researchers have identified a previously unknown association between heart function and the narcolepsy-linked orexin receptor pathway, a finding that could provide a promising direction for treatment research.
Wednesday, December 02, 2015
New Class of RNA Tumor Suppressors Identified
Two short, “housekeeping” RNA molecules block cancer growth by binding to an important cancer-associated protein called KRAS. More than a quarter of all human cancers are missing these RNAs.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Ancient Viral Molecules Essential for Human Development
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Key Mechanism in Gene Expression Discovered
RNA polymerase II makes life possible by expressing genes. Now, a team of Stanford biologists, chemists and applied physicists has observed it at work in real time.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Scientists Home In On Origin Of Human, Chimpanzee Facial Differences
A study of species-specific regulation of gene expression in chimps and humans has identified regions important in human facial development and variation.
Monday, September 14, 2015
Researchers Develop qPCR Prognosis Test for NSCLC Patients
A nine-gene molecular prognostic index (MPI) for patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was able to provide accurate survival stratification and could potentially inform the use of adjuvant therapy in patients struggling with the disease.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Identifying Defective Heart Genes
A new technique could eventually enable doctors to diagnose genetic heart diseases by rapidly scanning more than 85 genes known to cause cardiac anomalies.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Women’s Immune System Genes Operate Differently from Men’s
A new technology reveals that immune system genes switch on and off differently in women and men, and the source of that variation is not primarily in the DNA.
Friday, July 31, 2015
Scientists Discern Signatures of Old Versus Young Stem Cells
A chemical code scrawled on histones determines which genes in that cell are turned on and which are turned off.
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Stanford Scientist Omics Profile used to Discover, Track his Diabetes Onset
Researchers also spied on Dr Snyder's immune system and watched it battle viral infections.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Scientific News
Early Genetic Changes in Premalignant Colorectal Tissue Identified
Findings point to drivers of early cancer development, targets for cancer prevention therapies.
A Guide to CRISPR Gene Activation
A comparison of synthetic gene-activating Cas9 proteins can help guide research and development of therapeutic approaches.
Gene That Lowers Heart Attack Risk Identified
Individuals with a rare twelve-letter deletion from a gene on chromosome 17 have significantly reduced non-HDL cholesterol levels and a 35% lower than average risk of heart disease.
"Sunscreen" Gene May Guard Against Melanoma
USC-led study reveals that melanoma patients with deficient or mutant copies of the gene are less protected from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells Play Role in Tumor Growth
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have reported a new mechanism that helps cancer cells engage myeloid-derived suppressor cells.
Transcription Factor Isoforms Implicated in Colon Diseases
UC Riverside study explains how distribution of two forms of a transcription factor in the colon influence risk of disease.
Roundup Impacts Gene Expression
Study published on the impact of low-dose toxicity of Roundup weed-killer on gene expression profiles.
US-India Collab Finds Molecular Signatures of Severe Malaria
Study may be a significant advancement in understanding the causes of severe malaria.
Big Data Can Save Lives
The sharing of genetic information from millions of cancer patients around the world could be key to revolutionising cancer prevention and care, according to a leading cancer expert from Queen's University Belfast.
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Target Is Found
Researchers at UC Berkeley discover a target that drives cancer metabolism in triple-negative breast cancer.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,100+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!