Pain and Aspirin
Pain and Aspirin

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Pain and Aspirin

Conclusion

In this course you have found out that:

  • The sensation of pain is caused by the release of a chemical (prostaglandin) that stimulates the nerve endings and sends an electrical message to the brain.

  • Pain can be reduced if the formation of prostaglandin can be inhibited.

  • Prostaglandin is formed, from arachidonic acid, in a cavity in the active site of the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX).

  • Geometrical isomerism can be important in controlling the shape of molecules.

  • The specific shape of the arachidonic acid molecule is caused by four carbon–carbon double bonds in its carbon chain which limit the rotation allowed within the molecule. Only one of the isomers, in which all four double bonds are cis, has the atoms in the correct place for prostaglandin formation.

  • Aspirin can release an acetyl group, which bonds to the active site of COX and prevents arachidonic acid from entering the cavity, so inhibiting the formation of prostaglandin.

SK185_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371