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Stanford, California 94305


Proposed twin study will test to what degree inter-individual differences in pain sensitivity and amount of pain relief in response to opioid therapy are inherited or alternatively, are due to environmental factors. This knowledge is important to guide future studies trying to explain such inter-individual differences. For example, finding that differences are largely due to environmental factors would discourage genomic studies and emphasize epidemiological studies.

Study summary:

The principal hypothesis to be evaluated is that the degree of analgesia provided by opioids in humans displays substantial familial aggregation, and is, in fact, heritable. These studies will use a classical twin paradigm to determine the role of genetics and the environment in influencing analgesia and a range of other opioid effects. Specific Aims: (1) Determine the degree to which opioid analgesic responses show familial aggregation and make preliminary estimates of heritability using both a heat and cold pressor pain model, and (2) determine the degree to which non-analgesic opioid responses show familial aggregation and make preliminary estimates of heritability. Side effects such as sedation, nausea, respiratory depression, and pruritus, as well as the positive affective response, a measure of abuse potential, will be monitored. Monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs (125 total pairs) will be tested under controlled pain laboratory conditions for their responses to opioid infusion using the complementary pain models while monitoring side effects and additional psychometric indices of mood, sleep, and abuse potential. The selected models provide unique mechanistic information because they involve different peripheral and/or central pain pathways. DNA samples will be collected for zygosity testing and banked for future studies.


Inclusion Criteria:Monozygotic or dizygotic twins ages 18-70 Exclusion Criteria:(1) Clinically relevant systemic diseases such as psychiatric, neurological, and dermatological conditions interfering with the collection and interpretation of study data (2) History of addiction (3) Allergy to study medication (4) Chronic intake of medication potentially interfering with pain processing (except oral contraceptives) (5) Intake of over-the-counter analgesics within the two days prior to study (6) Reynaud's disease (7) Pregnancy (8) Participation in other study within last 30 days (9) Personnel with direct access to addicting drugs



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Martin S Angst
Stanford University

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Stanford, California 94305
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: October 09, 2019

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