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Neuropharmacology. 2014 Sep;84:123-30. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2013.06.035. Epub 2013 Jul 25.

Imaging opioid analgesia in the human brain and its potential relevance for understanding opioid use in chronic pain.

Author information

1
Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB), Department of Clinical Neurology and Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Division of Anaesthesia, United Kingdom. Electronic address: michael.lee@ndcn.ox.ac.uk.
2
Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB), Department of Clinical Neurology and Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Division of Anaesthesia, United Kingdom.
3
Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB), Department of Clinical Neurology and Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Division of Anaesthesia, United Kingdom. Electronic address: irene.tracey@ndcn.ox.ac.uk.

Abstract

Opioids play an important role for the management of acute pain and in palliative care. The role of long-term opioid therapy in chronic non-malignant pain remains unclear and is the focus of much clinical research. There are concerns regarding analgesic tolerance, paradoxical pain and issues with dependence that can occur with chronic opioid use in the susceptible patient. In this review, we discuss how far human neuroimaging research has come in providing a mechanistic understanding of pain relief provided by opioids, and suggest avenues for further studies that are relevant to the management of chronic pain with opioids. This article is part of the Special Issue Section entitled 'Neuroimaging in Neuropharmacology'.

KEYWORDS:

Analgesia; Neuroimaging; Opioids; Pain

PMID:
23891639
PMCID:
PMC4067746
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuropharm.2013.06.035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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