Mass General Studies Molecule Linking Sleep Deprivation with Increased Pain Sensitivity Interview with:
Shiqian Shen, M.D.
Assistant Anesthetist
–Anesthesia & Crit. Care, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor of Anaesthesia
–Harvard Medical School
Physician Investigator (Cl)
–Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Mass General Research Institute What is the background for this study? Would you describe the function of NADA?

Response:  Both sleep disorders and chronic pain are very prevalent among adults. For example, about one third of U.S. adults report some level of sleep disturbance. Both common life experience and medial research strongly suggest that sleep deprivation leads to heightened pain experience/perception. However, the mechanisms of this link are not entirely clear. Hence we decide to study this important question.

NADA, N-arachidonoyl dopamine was first discovered to be an agonist for the Cannabinoid Receptor 1 and it was found in the brain of animals. It belongs to the endocannabinoid family. Additionally, NADA also belongs to the endovanilloid family. Administration of NADA to rodents produces a wide variety of behavioral changes, including behaviors mimicking the physiological paradigms association with cannabinoids. However, its physiological function is not well characterized.

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