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The programme examines the effect of three different types of pain killing drugs on the nervous system. The three are drugs like asperin which acts near the site of injury, local anaesthetics which... block the passage of nerve impulses and opiates which act on the central nervous system.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: SD286, "Biology, brain and behaviour"
Item code: SD286; 11
First transmission date: 15-08-1981
Published: 1981
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
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Producer: Neil Cameron
Contributors: Ray Hill; F. M.(Frederick M.) Toates
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Analgesics; Local anaesthetic; Opiates; Pain killing drugs; Pain relief
Footage description: Brief film shots of a man catching his finger in a car door. Fred Toates introduces the programme by pointing out the beneficial aspect of pain. Toates, at the University of Bristol Medical School, explains how noxious stimuli are detected by the body. He uses a cut away model of a human torso to describe three points of intervention for relieving pain clinically. Toates explains, with the aid of animated diagrams and the torso model, how pain can be relieved by blocking stimulation of the nerve receptore by such drugs Asperin. A second approach, that of blocking the nerve impulse along the neuron, is discussed by Ray Hill. He explains how local anaesthetic drugs prevent the transmission of an action potential. An experiment is then shown of the effect of the anaesthetic drug lignicaine on the dissected out sciatic nerve of a frog. The results are displayed on an oscilloscope. An animated diagram illustrates how the drug works. Hill and Toates then go on to demonstrate, in an experiment, that there are different nerve fibres for transmitting noxious and harmless signals. Hill explains the experiment and then performs it on Toates. They point out that there appear to be three different types of nerve fibres. Toates with the torso dummy, briefly sums up the two types of intervention discussed so far. Ray Hill then goes on to discuss the third type of pain intervention, one which acts on the central nervous system. He uses a photograph of the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, cross section models of the spinal cord and a model of the brain to explain how the opiate drugs work. Toates and Trevor Thomas discuss the choice of analgesic drug for any particular pain in relation to the points made in the programme so far. Toates looks at film of an experiment on rats which studies the effect of electrical stimulation on pain. He points out that electrical stimuli appear to mimic the opiate drugs. Ray Hill explains a possible mechanism by which electrical stimulation mimics the effect of opiate drugs. Models of the brain and spinal cord are used. Hill points out that naturally ocurring opiates in the body are present and that their production is increased by electrical stimulation. Toates explains how the discovery of naturally occurring opiates in the body may account for the differences in pain thresholds among different individuals. Trevor Thomas discusses some of the clinical implications of these intrinsic opiates in the body. He discusses relief of pain during childbirth as an example.
Master spool number: HOU3598
Production number: FOUS186W
Videofinder number: 2083
Available to public: no