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研究人员对疼痛的了解及研究

Scientists Are Close To Eliminating Pain, Here’s How

你知道什么会带来痛感吗
You know what hurts?
是疼
Pain.
但为什么疼会带来痛感
But why does pain have to hurt so much,
而如果痛感过于强烈
and could we maybe dial it back a bit
我们能否缓解一点?
if the pain gets too intense?
感谢斯坦福大学最近的一项研究
Thanks to a recent study from Stanford University,
我们或许刚好能够控制我们经历疼痛的方式
we may just be able to control how we experience pain.
疼痛在大多数情况下是有用的 有多疼就多有用
As much as it hurts, pain is useful in most cases.
它让我们知道我们的身体状况不佳
It lets us know that what’s happening is bad for us,
或者特别的差
or when something is seriously wrong.
要是不会疼 我们很容易伤到自己
Without it, we would easily injure ourselves
或是意识不到我们的身体运作不正常
or not realize our bodies aren’t functioning as they should.
其实 有一种罕见的情况
In fact, there is a rare condition
叫做“先天性无痛无汗症” 简称CIPA
called Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis, or CIPA,
这类患者骨折了自己都不知道 而且身体容易发热
and people suffering from it can break bones without even knowing or overheat easily,
他们在孩童时期特别危险
which is especially dangerous when they’re children.
所以疼是件好事
So pain is a good thing.
或者说 能感觉到疼是好事
Or at least the ability to feel it is.
还有些人处于另一个极端 他们经历长期疼痛
But there are those on the other extreme of the spectrum who experience chronic pain.
疼对他们而言除了带来不爽和痛苦外毫无意义
For them, it mostly serves no purpose other than discomfort and agony.
阿片类药物可以减缓疼痛
Drugs like opioids can dull the pain,
但是它们太容易上瘾
but they can be extremely addictive and impact
还会影响大脑的其他部位
other parts of the brain.
所以 要是能确定哪些神经
So identifying exactly which neurons control
控制着痛感带来的不适
the discomfort that comes with pain can lead
就能开发新药物让患者能知道自己还在疼
to new drugs that allow people to still know they’re hurting,
同时没有实质性伤害
but without the actual hurt.
而这就是斯坦福的研究人员2019年
That’s where a 2019 study published
发表在《科学》杂志的研究出发点
in the journal Science by researchers at Stanford University comes in.
研究人员探测了小鼠大脑的疼痛感知区
The researchers probed mouse brains for where pain was felt,
我说的探测 就是字面上的意思
and when I say probed I mean that literally.
他们将微型显微镜放在
They attached miniature microscopes to the
小鼠的大脑里 在它溜达着干自己事的时候
mice’s heads and observed their brains in real time,
实时观察它们的大脑
while the mouse was just walking around, doing mouse stuff.
科学家们观察其大脑杏仁核
The scientists’target was the amygdala,
这块区域在人脑中是杏仁状
which in humans is a small almond-shaped area
和情绪处理有关
associated with processing emotions.
但它在小鼠大脑里很黑
But it’s really dark inside a mouse’s brain,
为了搞清楚情况
so to see what was going on, researchers
研究人员引入一种当神经元被激活就会发光的荧光蛋白
introduced a fluorescent protein that lit up whenever neurons fired.
有了显微镜和荧光蛋白以后
With microscopes and glow-teins in place,
研究人员开始刺激老鼠
researchers started poking and prodding the
观察它们在不适情况下 什么区域会亮
mice to see what area lit up when they were in discomfort.
他们发现 当小鼠疼痛时
They found about 150 neurons
在一个叫做杏仁基底外核的区域内
in a region called the basolateral amygdala that sparked up when
大约有150个神经会亮
the mouse was in pain,
而且增强痛感的时候亮度也会增强
and glowed more brightly when the pain was more intense.
但是科学家们并不是在寻找发出疼痛信号的神经元
But the scientists weren’t looking for neurons that signaled pain,
而是发出不舒服信号的神经元
but the ones that signaled it was unpleasant.
为了确认他们所发现的神经元
To find out if the neurons they’d
是否是他们要寻找的神经元
spotted were the ones they were looking for, the researchers
研究人员发明了一种可以打开和关闭神经元的化学开关
created chemical switches that allowed them to turn the neurons on and off.
当研究人员关闭神经元
When the researchers switched the neurons off,
小鼠仍有痛觉
the mice could still sense pain and
因为小鼠表现出了对疼痛刺激的特殊回撤反射
which show it by displaying their usual reflex to withdraw from painful stimuli.
但没有表现出对疼痛的不适
But they didn’t show signs the pain was unpleasant,
没有躲避刺激
like by avoiding the stimuli or
也没有舔爪子
licking their paws.
本质上它们仍能感知疼痛
Essentially they could still feel pain,
只不过不太介意
they just didn’t mind so much.
当研究人员关闭了控制小鼠慢性疼痛的神经元
When the researchers switched off the same neurons
他们发现
in mice with chronic pain, they found
小鼠不再介意那些会造成伤害的光线接触
the mice didn’t mind the light touches that used to harm anymore.
如果在人脑中能发现这种方式工作的神经元
If neurons that work the same way can be found
同时 这些神经元存在独特受体
in humans, and if these neurons have unique receptors,
那么就有可能
then it might be possible to
开发出针对它们的药物
develop drugs that target them,
降低他们的活性
and turn down their activity.
这对饱受慢性病之苦的患者来说是一个天大的消息
That would be huge news for sufferers of chronic pain,
甚至对那些处在极度疼痛
or even those in intense pain who might
服用具有成瘾性的不确定的药的人来说也一样
otherwise be prescribed drugs that are addictive and imprecise.
这种方法也许仍然长路漫漫
It’s probably still a ways off,
所以在此期间我们尽量别伤到自己
so in the meantime do your best not to hurt yourself.
而且 你愿意让科学家们
So, would you let scientists attach a
给你脑子里装上个显微镜吗 在可能发现重大突破的前提下
microscope to your brain if it meant making a major breakthrough?
评论留言 给脑子照张相
Let us know in the comments!
想了解更多关于大脑的科学知识 请看这段视频
And for more on the science of your brain, check out this video.
感谢观看 我们下期节目见
Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next time on Seeker.

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视频概述

疼痛对我们来说不仅仅是不适 它还可能是一种警告 告诉我们即将或已经发生的对我们造成伤害的事 利用科学来将疼痛变成一件对我们更有利的事 很不可思议吧 快来一探究竟!

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Joy

审核员

审核员_Y

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwWvC8m8hgU

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