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Alan R. Light

Research Professor of Anesthesiology

Cellular Neuroscience
Neurobiology of Disease
Molecular Neuroscience
Brain and Behavior







B.A. 1972, Hamilton College; Ph.D. 1977, SUNY at Upstate Medical Center; Postdoctoral Fellow 1977-1979, UNC-Chapel Hill


Neurobiology of pain and fatigue enhancement caused by injury and in Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia syndromes

Dr. Light's lab focuses on the neurobiology of pain pathways. Most recently research projects include: 1) the role of the recently cloned Acid Sensing Ion Channels (ASICs) in muscle fatigue and pain. Research in Dr. Light's lab has shown that ASIC-3 expression is increased following exhausting exercise, and that C-fibers innervating muscle are responsive to the mixture of metabolites that are produced by exercise. These metabolites activate a combination of purinergic (P2X), TRPV, and ASIC receptors to produce their actions. 2) experiments in patients with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue syndromes indicate that the receptors described above are dysregulated, and may provide the basis for the symptoms in these syndromes. 3) quantitative mRNA experiments suggest that the above receptors can be used as an objective marker for these and other fatigue related syndromes. 4) exercise experiments in humans indicate that the receptors described above also play a role in detecting fatigue and muscle pain both acutely, and in inflammatory and exercise induced fatigue and muscle pain.

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Last Updated: 6/4/21