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Is A Protein Causing Chronic Nerve Pain?

Sep 10, 2019
Is A Protein Causing Chronic Nerve Pain?
There are many causes for the common condition of nerve pain, and Dr. Nikesh Seth has dedicated much of his practice at Integrated Pain Consultants to treating this debilitating condition.

There are many causes for the common condition of nerve pain, and Dr. Nikesh Seth has dedicated much of his practice at Integrated Pain Consultants to treating this debilitating condition.

Trillions of dollars are spent around the world every year to treat persistent nerve pain, and understanding the cause of your unique nerve pain is foundational in establishing a treatment plan.


About 25 percent of those with diabetes and 35 percent of people with HIV have burning nerve pain. This pain can also be caused by spinal cord injuries, cancer, multiple sclerosis, accidents—and even a nutrient deficiency. Between 7 and 10 percent of the world’s population will have nerve pain at some point in their life, and yet sometimes it can be tough to determine the exact cause.

A recent study from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru suggests that the lysozyme protein might be connected to nerve pain. The full article is available in Science Translational Medicine. Lysozyme is found in saliva, tears, and human milk, and is an important part of the human immune system. It safeguards us from bacterial infections and is a critical enzyme in many foods.

However, the study reveals that in a lab setting, lysozyme levels increase in the body after a nerve injury. When injecting the protein directly into subjects, nerve pain also increased. This suggests that lysozyme itself is causing chronic nerve pain, as the body naturally produces it after a nerve injury. Lysozyme levels are naturally low in healthy nerve cells, and researchers found that the protein spiked post-injury in both rat and human subjects.

Another protein, Annexin A2, may play a role in inducing nerve pain. It interacts with lysozyme on the nerve cell surface levels. When there was no Annexin A2 available, the lysozyme didn’t invoke pain during the study. Ultimately, the research may contain a clue for treating chronic nerve pain in the future—but you don’t have to wait. There are holistic treatments available right now including radiofrequency ablation, sympathetic blocks, and joint injections.

Schedule Your Pain Management Consultation Today

Dr. Nikesh Seth is always keeping an eye on the latest advancements but is also committed to ensuring patients have relief options immediately available. If you have nerve pain, contact Integrated Pain Consultants right now to book your consultation for immediate relief.