The Use of D-Phenylalanine in the Treatment of Chronic Pain
In the spinal cord, there appears to be a relationship between the enkephalins and the control of pain. The enkephalins appear to act as inhibitory transmitters, and the anatomical evidence which finds enkephalin-like immunoreactive material in terminals making normal synaptic contacts supports this observation , Similarly, the opioid neurons that appear to be the most intimately involved in the regulation of nociceptive information are those containing the enkephalin peptides . Immunochemical studies have revealed many enkephalin-containing neurons and nerve terminals concentrated in laminae I and II of the dorsal horn in the spinal cord . Autoradiographic mapping studies have shown that the spinal distribution of opiate receptors, which is the subclass most closely linked with pain pathways, parallels that of the enkephalins . Consequently, there is now general agreement that the enkephalins have a pain-modulating role and are involved in a major proportion of the opioid activity found in the brain and spinal cord.
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