Research by a team at the University of Michigan could help harness the body’s ability to block pain, Medical Xpress reports. All opioid drugs work on receptors that are naturally present in the brain and elsewhere in the body. “Normally, when you are in pain, you are releasing endogenous opioids, but they’re just not strong enough or long lasting enough,” says Dr. John Traynor. The team had long hypothesized that substances called positive allosteric modulators could be used to enhance the body’s own endorphins and enkephalins. In a new paper published in PNAS, they demonstrate that a positive allosteric modulator known as BMS-986122 can boost enkephalins’ ability to activate the mu-opioid receptor.