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Ann Neurosci. 2012 Jul;19(3):125-32. doi: 10.5214/ans.0972.7531.190309.

Neuropathic pain: role of inflammation, immune response, and ion channel activity in central injury mechanisms.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA.


Neuropathic pain (NP) is a significant and disabling clinical problem with very few therapeutic treatment options available. A major priority is to identify the molecular mechanisms responsible for NP. Although many seemingly relevant pathways have been identified, more research is needed before effective clinical interventions can be produced. Initial insults to the nervous system, such as spinal cord injury (SCI), are often compounded by secondary mechanisms such as inflammation, the immune response, and the changing expression of receptors and ion channels. The consequences of these secondary effects myriad and compound those elicited by the primary injury. Chronic NP syndromes following SCI can greatly complicate the clinical treatment of the primary injury and result in high comorbidity. In this review, we will describe physiological outcomes associated with SCI along with some of the mechanisms known to contribute to chronic NP development.


CB1/CB2; Cannabinoid Receptors; MMPs; Microglia; NKCC-1; Nitric Oxide; TRPV-1

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