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Papers of the Week

2023 Apr

Contemp Clin Trials Commun


Protocol for a pilot and feasibility randomized-controlled trial of four weeks of oral γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) intake and its effect on pain and sleep in middle-to-older aged adults.


Montesino-Goicolea S, Nin O, Gonzalez BM, Sawczuk NJ, Nodarse C L, Valdes-Hernandez P A, Jackson E, Huo Z, Somerville J ET, Porges EC, Smith C, Fillingim RB, Cruz-Almeida Y
Contemp Clin Trials Commun. 2023 Apr; 32:101066.
PMID: 36712186.


Approximately 1.71 billion people globally live with musculoskeletal pain conditions, including low back pain, knee pain, and neck pain Cieza et al. (2020). In the US, an estimated 20.4% of U.S. adult had chronic pain and 8.0% of U.S. adults had high-impact chronic pain, with higher prevalence associated with advancing age Dahlhamer et al. (2018). On the other hand, between 50 and 70 million US adults have a sleep disorder (American Sleep Association). Although the link between sleep and pain is widely established, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying this relationship have yet to be fully elucidated, specifically within an aged population. As currently available sleep and chronic pain therapies are only partially effective, novel treatment approaches are urgently needed. Given the potential mechanistic role of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in both conditions, and the availability of GABA supplements over the counter, the present proposal will determine the feasibility and acceptability of oral GABA administration in middle-to-older aged adults with chronic pain and sleep disorders as well as characterize the potential neurobiological mechanisms involved in both conditions. Results from the present investigation using a parallel, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study will provide novel preliminary information needed for future translational pain and sleep research.