'Pain' chemical discovery in sunburn could lead to cure
A protein has been discovered which scientists believe could be the reason why we find sunburn so painful.
A research study found that when skin is burnt by UV rays, it produces a chemical called CXCL5 which is thought to increase sensitivity to pain.
Experts are now hoping that the new findings could eventually lead to the development of drugs or treatments to ‘cure’ sunburn.
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After exposing the skin of 10 volunteers to harmful UVB rays, the researchers tested a sample of the burnt skin and screened it to see if any pain molecules were present.
They found that there were extremely high levels of the CXCL5 protein, which is part of the chemokines family, one of the key players that cause inflammation.
There is now the belief that the pain that is caused by sunburn could be reduced if an antibody was used to neutralise the effects of the protein.
The lead researcher of the project, Professor Steve McMahon from Kings College London, said in a media interview: “These findings have shown for the first time the important role of this particular molecule in controlling pain from exposure to UVB irradiation.”
He also added that there is hope the discovery of the protein could lead to treatments to other painful illnesses and ailments: “This study isn't just about sunburn - we hope that we have identified a potential target which can be utilised to understand more about pain in other inflammatory conditions like arthritis and cystitis.
“I'm excited about where these findings could take us in terms of eventually developing a new type of analgesic for people who suffer from chronic pain.”
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”