Skip to comments.Black mamba bite packs potent painkiller
Posted on 10/11/2012 9:58:39 PM PDT by neverdem
Study of snake venom in mice reveals potential new strategy for relieving agony
A snakebite may bring on a world of hurt, but a substance found in black mamba venom could actually relieve pain. The finding reveals a new possible approach for pain treatment, researchers report online October 3 in Nature.
The black mamba, Dendroaspis polylepis polylepis, is one of the most lethal snakes on Earth. But a team of researchers in France found that compounds in the snakes venom have the same pain-banishing effect on mice that morphine does.
The compounds, called mambalgins, appear to work by blocking certain channels in nerve cells. Under acidic conditions, these channels open up, triggering pain signals. By preventing the flow of charged atoms through these channels, the mambalgins stop pain signals in their tracks.
The work highlights such acid-sensing channels as a potential target for pain treatment, says neuroscientist Candice Askwith of Ohio State University, who was not involved in the study. Morphine and other opioids work well, she says, but they do have limitations and they do have side effects. So having an alternative chemical or pathway that could be manipulated would be a great advantage clinically.
Molecules found in the venom of snakes, predatory sea snails and many other animals have been widely studied for their therapeutic effects in conditions ranging from diabetes to cardiovascular disease. The venom toxins home in on specific nerve channels, activating or deactivating them. While some snake venom compounds cause pain, the researchers noticed those in black mamba venom seem to do the reverse...
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencenews.org ...
Wish I had one while watching Biden tonight.
Interestingly (or not), about 15 years back or so they found something similar with, of all things, the venom of the cone snail. They found it not only had powerful painkilling capabilities, but that it could lower the tolerance threshold for opiates in terminal cancer patients’ developing a resistance to painkillers’ ability to manage their pain.
You go first.......
"The Black Maaaaammmmbbbaaaaaaa!!!"
The venom of a black mamba can kill a human in four hours, if, say, bitten on the ankle or the thumb. However, a bite to the face or torso can bring death from paralysis within 20 minutes. Now, you should listen to this, ‘cause this concerns you. The amount of venom that can be delivered from a single bite can be gargantuan. You know, I’ve always liked that word... “gargantuan”... so rarely have an opportunity to use it in a sentence. If not treated quickly with antivenom, 10 to 15 milligrams can be fatal to human beings. However, the black mamba can deliver as much as 100 to 400 milligrams of venom from a single bite.
I had one nearly zip between my legs once in Cameroon many years ago.
We were pushing a pickup truck out of a giant hardened elephant footprint and I leaped into the back of the truck in the nick of time. They are FAST. Like greased lightning.
That lack of pain is called death.
If you were in Cameroon you must have either seen or heard about the Gabon Viper (and its cousin the Rhinocerous viper). Those two snakes, together with the Puff Adder, are my favorite African nightmares (apart from the hippo ...I have a very interesting hippo encounter story btw). The Gabon/Rhinocerous/Puff are heavy slow snakes, even though they have one of the fastest snake strikes in the world, with huge fangs (the Gabon has the longest fangs of any snake), totally invisible to the eye (in foliage Gabon vipers and Rhinocerous vipers are literally invisible), and have copious amounts of very nasty hemotoxic/cytotoxic venom. A really horrible way to die as your cells swell and breakdown, making you look like a balloon, with enough pain to make one laugh. I'd take a Mamba any day ...it will probably try to get away unless I am messing around with it (and I know enough about snakes to know which ones not to mess with), and were it to bite me and I am far from medical help I will simply stop breathing as the neurotoxins shut down my nervous system and go to sleep. A Gabon viper or Rhinocerous viper, on the other hand, will be hell on earth.
I have been using cobroxin for knee pain and it does help.
I tried that stuff and didn't notice a bit of relief.
At some points a Black Mamba bite would have been preferable. If a Black Mamba had bitten Joe, the snake would have died.
The dead feel no pain....
Nearly! I was over the tailgate when it shot by so fast I barely got a glimpse!
Was hospitalized for a considerable period of time and apparently it was only repeated blood transfusions which saved his life.
Aren’t you a snake fanatic?
"But a team of researchers in France found that compounds in the snakes venom have the same pain-banishing effect on mice that morphine does."
That implies they separated at least two potential analgesics in their venom, and they found some way to separate and purify it, or the rats should be dead.
My guess is they used high pressure liquid chromatography for starters, and if they got nice distinct fractions that would show up on a graph as peaks, then they tested each serially collected fraction according to its peak for analgesia.
Once they got the molecular structure nailed down with other analytical techniques, they might try to modify chemically whatever analgesics they found.
I have snakes.
I wouldn’t say I’m “fanatical” about them.
I like them and am fascinated by their incredible biomechanics.
However, snake venom is already being used in blood thinners, cancer treatments, stroke treatments and many other ‘medical miracles’.
Funny how God would create such a wonderous creature, full of potential medical breakthroughs yet so many people stomp them wholesale out of fear and ignorance.
Along with albino Diamondbacks, my friend/feeder supplier/snake breeder has Gaboons.
Beautiful things....viewed from outside their enclosures.
He has a tub full of Gaboon fangs.
A little known fact about Mambas; they’re avid soccer fans.
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