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Neuroscience. 2016 Dec 3;338:36-62. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.04.041. Epub 2016 Apr 30.

Genetic predictors of human chronic pain conditions.

Author information

1
The Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain, McGill University, 740 Docteur Penfield, Suite 2300, Montreal, Quebec H3A 0G1, Canada. Electronic address: katerina.lichtenwalter@mail.mcgill.ca.
2
The Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain, McGill University, 740 Docteur Penfield, Suite 2300, Montreal, Quebec H3A 0G1, Canada.

Abstract

Chronic pain conditions are multifactorial disorders with a high frequency in the population. Their pathophysiology is often unclear, and treatment is inefficient. During the last 20years, genetic linkage analysis and association studies have made considerable strides toward identifying key molecular contributors to the onset and maintenance of chronic pain. Here, we review the genetic variants that have been implicated in chronic pain conditions, divided into the following etiologically-grouped categories: migraine, musculoskeletal pain disorders, neuropathic pain disorders, and visceral pain disorders. In rare familial monogenic pain conditions several strong-effect mutations have been identified. In contrast, the genetic landscape of common chronic pain conditions suggests minor contributions from a large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms representing different functional pathways. A comprehensive survey of up-to-date genetic association results reveals migraine and musculoskeletal pain to be the most investigated chronic pain disorders, in which nearly half of identified genetic variability alters neurotransmission pathways.

KEYWORDS:

GWAS; chronic pain conditions; genetic association studies; pain genetics; single nucleotide polymorphisms

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