Palmitoylethanolamide kills pain via natural descending neuronal pathways

Palmitoylethanolamide is a natural painkiller. There are many mechanisms via which PEA excerts its analgesic actions. One mechanism becoming more in the forus of neurobiology is via the inhibition of the spinal system through various brain area’s:

Increased levels palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), increased in three brain areas of the descending antinociceptive system, i.e. the dorsal raphe (DR), the periaqueductal gray (PAG) and rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) , as well as in the spinal cord (SC) following chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve in the rat. This is nature’s own way to counteract pain.

PEA, operating at both spinal and supra-spinal levels thus becomes up-regulated during neuropathic pain and therefore many pharmaceutical companies are looking for new substances with the possibility to patent, that inhibit PEA inactivation and might be therefore useful in the treatment of neuropathic pain.

Fort the time being these inhibitors suffer from a great many side effects, and simple supplementation of pure PEA therefore seems the golden standard.

Source: Petrosino, S.; Palazzo, E.; de Novellis, V.; Bisogno, T.; Rossi, F.; Maione, S.; Di Marzo, V. Changes in spinal and supraspinal endocannabinoid levels in neuropathic rats. Neuropharmacology 2007, 52, 415-422.

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