The Human Brain Produces Morphine

According to a story on Wired, the human brain is capable of producing morphine, given the right stimuli.

Scientists have debated this for a while; earlier studies finding trace amounts of morphine in human and animal tissue were attributed by many to the consumption of foods containing the chemical or to other factors. Now, some folks at Germany’s Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg have proof that the brain produces its own morphine.

So why is this exciting? Well, for one thing, it means that administering morphine to someone for medical purposes may get a whole lot easier and safer. Instead of morphine, the patient could be administered a “morphine precursor” which would prompt the body to dope itself. Even more fundamental, it means we have a new way to look at how morphine affects the brain in the first place.

This study has many other applications. It may open doors to the reasons that zombies eat brains, enabling us to develop better weapons to destroy them and other walking dead. It doubtless will spur advances in addiction treatment, suggesting that some people who are especially susceptible to morphine addiction may just have a natural morphine deficiency.

In a nutshell, this paper looks like it will change the way we see pain treatment, addiction and the undead forever.

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