NeuroVentures Funded Grant

Scott Delp, Bioengineering
Sean Mackey, Anesthesia
Karl Deisseroth, Bioengineering

Neuropathic pain is a debilitating disease that affects approximately 5% of the population. People with neuropathic pain frequently experience pain even when there is no painful trigger. The pain can be severe and last for years. Neuroscientists have a limited understanding of the causes of neuropathic pain, but one hypothesis is that neuropathic pain develops when peripheral nerve fibers that carry pain information become hypersensitive. In this proposal, we will use a new technique in neuroscience that allows us to control the activity of these nerve fibers using light and determine if changes in nerve activity produces symptoms of neuropathic pain. The project will answer significant open questions about how neuropathic pain begins and provide direction to guide development of new treatments.