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
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 2,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ 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

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
Stanford Researchers Find Protein Targets for Potential Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
Stanford researchers have identified therapy targets that could lead to personalized treatments for MS patients at each phase of the illness.
Monday, February 18, 2008
For Stanford Scientists, RNAi Gene Therapy Takes two Steps Forward, one Step Back
If RNAi is going to be viable as a therapy for organ-wide diseases such as hepatitis B or C, it will have to stick around.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Gene Therapy for Muscular Dystrophy Fixes Frail Muscle Cells in Animal Model
Researchers used gene therapy to introduce a healthy copy of the gene dystrophin into mice with a condition that mimics muscular dystrophy.
Monday, January 02, 2006
Stanford Study Reveals Genetic Trigger Behind Some Schizophrenia Cases
The finding adds to mounting evidence of dopamine's link to psychiatric and neurological disorders.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Scientific News
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.
Long Telomeres Associated with Increased Lung Cancer Risk
Genetic predisposition for long telomeres predicts increased lung adenocarcinoma risk.
Expanding the Brain
A team of researchers has identified more than 40 new “imprinted” genes, in which either the maternal or paternal copy of a gene is expressed while the other is silenced.
Study Uncovers Target for Preventing Huntington’s Disease
Scientists from Cardiff University believe that a treatment to prevent or delay the symptoms of Huntington’s disease could now be much closer, following a major breakthrough.
The Genetic Roots of Adolescent Scoliosis
Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences in collaboration with Keio University in Japan have discovered a gene that is linked to susceptibility of Scoliosis.
A Gene-Sequence Swap Using CRISPR to Cure Haemophilia
For the first time chromosomal defects responsible for hemophilia have been corrected in patient-specific iPSCs using CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases
How a Kernel Got Naked and Corn Became King
Ten thousand years ago, a golden grain got naked, brought people together and grew to become one of the top agricultural commodities on the planet.
New Tool For Investigating RNA Gone Awry
A new technology – called “Sticky-flares” – developed by nanomedicine experts at Northwestern University offers the first real-time method to track and observe the dynamics of RNA distribution as it is transported inside living cells.
Access Denied: Leukemia Thwarted by Cutting Off Link to Environmental Support
A new study reveals a protein’s critical – and previously unknown -- role in the development and progression of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a fast-growing and extremely difficult-to-treat blood cancer.
Oxitec ‘Self-Limiting Gene’ Offers Hope for Controlling Invasive Moth
A new pesticide-free and environmentally-friendly way to control insect pests has moved ahead with the publication of results showing that Oxitec diamondback moths (DBM) with a ‘self-limiting gene’ can dramatically reduce populations of DBM.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!