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Affecting pain signals: aiming to understand what causes pain

Orion is searching for ways that are as effective and as safe as possible to affect how the brain interprets pain and to reduce the overstimulation of nerve cells causing pain.

The aim in targeting the pain signal is to relieve chronic pain – which is different from normal, protective pain. 
The key goal of Orion’s pain research is to gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of chronic pain: we pursue new knowledge about the causes of pain and what changes take place in human physiology when we experience pain. In chronic pain, for example, the central mechanism of action – the way that the brain interprets pain – changes. As a result, even normal physical contact can feel very painful.  

Another major area of research on pain signals is targeting the nerve cells directly. We are investigating how nerve cells – which can be found in the brain and the spinal cord – interpret and transmit the pain sensation onwards to the brain. When we experience pain, nerve cells are overstimulated and very quick to transmit the pain signal, or alternatively the way nerve cells communicate with each other has changed. Our research aims to identify ways to address these situations to help people with chronic pain.  


Working for the Pain Research team is rewarding because you learn something new every day. In the best case, a new idea can evolve into a drug that changes many people’s lives. Researchers thrive on problem solving and innovation.”

Lauri Louhivuori, Senior Scientist, R&D Therapy Area, Pain Research Team; PhD, Physiology