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Mayo Clin Proc. 2003 Jan;78(1):80-4.

Evolving role of the neurologist in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic noncancer pain.

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Department of Neurology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill 27599-7025, USA.


The neurologist has become increasingly involved in the multidisciplinary treatment of patients with chronic noncancer pain (CNP). Chronic noncancer pain affects a diverse patient population with multiple underlying diagnoses and associated therapies. Following the model of the American Board of Anesthesiology and the American Society of Anesthesiologists for practice guidelines and subspecialty requirements, neurologic pain management is now recognized as a subspecialty of neurology by the American Academy of Neurology and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Current basic and clinical research into the neuropathology, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, and neuropharmacology of chronic pain continues to expand diagnostic and therapeutic options. Informed regulatory agencies and professional organizations such as the American Academy of Neurology recognize the undertreatment of patients with CNP and provide clear recommendations to help neurologists in the ethical and effective treatment of patients with pain. Improved education of neurologists, other health care professionals, patients, and the media about evolving standards of pain care and therapy will produce a more supportive environment for the compassionate and ethical treatment of patients with CNP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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