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Peripheral Neuropathy Research Registry Yields New Discovery

Data from the Peripheral Neuropathy Research Registry (PNRR) helps scientists examine the relevance of mutations in sodium channels, yielding a new discovery in peripheral neuropathy research.

In 2012, the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy (FPN) initiated and funded the Peripheral Neuropathy Research Registry (PNRR) to advance research in acquired axonal peripheral neuropathies, which affects millions of Americans. Stemming from PNRR data, a new discovery in peripheral neuropathy research emerged.

On December 15, 2017, the first scientific study utilizing the patient data from the PNRR was published. In the study, scientists from Bristol-Myers-Squib and consortium members of the PNRR demonstrate that there is no difference in mutations in sodium channels among patients with and without painful neuropathy.

Prior to this study, smaller studies had indicated that certain mutations in sodium channels that govern neuronal excitability were more common among patients with painful neuropathy. Based on these observations, several companies had started making drugs that block these sodium channels, although none of them had reached the clinical trial stage yet.

This important study, however, points out that these so called “disease causing” mutations are not enriched in patients with painful neuropathy and that blocking them may not have any specific therapeutic efficacy in treating pain in patients with peripheral neuropathy. This observation will likely save pharmaceutical companies from wasting a lot of resources and money on a therapeutic target that may not have worked. It will likely force them to look other molecular targets to treat neuropathic pain.

If you’d like to read the article in its entirety, click here. The article is entitled,”NaV channel variants in patients with painful and nonpainful peripheral neuropathy.”


The Peripheral Neuropathy Research Registry (PNRR) was organized by the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy in 2012 to facilitate both basic and clinical research studies that are expected to improve understandings of the etiology and pathogenesis of peripheral neuropathy (PN). Ultimately, the major goal of the Research Registry is to improve the ability to diagnose, treat and prevent peripheral neuropathy. As of January 2018, there are over 1,400 patient samples in the Registry.

If you’d like to learn more about enrolling in the PNRR or supporting research efforts for peripheral neuropathy, please contact the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy at [email protected] or 847-883-9942.

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