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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2005 Jul;6(7):507-20.

The development of nociceptive circuits.

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Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Wellcome Pain Consortium; University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.


The study of pain development has come into its own. Reaping the rewards of years of developmental and molecular biology, it has now become possible to translate fundamental knowledge of signalling pathways and synaptic physiology into a better understanding of infant pain. Research has cast new light on the physiological and pharmacological processes that shape the newborn pain response, which will help us to understand early pain behaviour and to design better treatments. Furthermore, it has shown how developing pain circuitry depends on non-noxious sensory activity in the healthy newborn, and how early injury can permanently alter pain processing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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