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Pain and aspirin

Introduction

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In this unit you will find out that the sensation of pain is caused by the release of a chemical called prostaglandin that stimulates the nerve endings and sends an electrical message to the brain. Inhibiting the formation of prostaglandin reduces pain and we will see, by looking at the specific shape of the molecules involved, how aspirin can so inhibit the formation of prostaglandin. To make the most of the material of this unit you will need to use an organic molecular modelling kit such as the one that is supplied by Molymod to Open University students who study the course that this unit comes from.

This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course Learn about molecules, medicines and drugs which has been partly funded by the Wolfson Foundation in collaboration with The Royal Society of Chemistry and you can study just for interest [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , or study for credit.

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