Creepy-Crawlies in Pain Research: From a Spider Venom to a Pain Reliever in Mice

Animals can use venom to capture their prey, but spiders and other venomous creatures also use their venom to deter predators. Inflicting pain via a venom is a highly effective defense mechanism that teaches potential predators (and their offspring) to stay away. This is like accidentally touching a hot stove—you live to tell the tale, don’t do it again, and can warn others of the danger.

But do creepy-crawly creatures like spiders and the venoms they make have any relevance to the understanding of chronic pain in people?

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Published by RELIEF.

Lincoln M. Tracy
Research Fellow and Freelance Writer