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Neuropathic Pain (NP)

Neuropathic Pain (NP)

Neuropathic pain is a type of chronic pain initiated or caused by a primary lesion of nervous system. While epidemiological studies indicate the incidence of neuropathic pain is 1%, most experts conclude this figure is most certainly an underestimate. Conditions associated with a high incidence of neuropathic pain include diabetes (10%), post-herpetic neuralgia (25%) and others. Neuropathic pain does not respond well to conventional pain therapy and may worsen over time. Pain is felt when special nerve terminals called nociceptors are stimulated. Following peripheral nerve injury, changes occur in the nervous fibers transmitting non-nociceptive stimuli, leading to neuropathic pain. Among these changes is an irregular membrane excitability, substained by profound alteration in the pattern of the sodium channel expression, including up-regulation of certain channels not normally observed in nociceptors, and down-regulation of others, thereby causing the brain to recognize pain from sources not normally painful. Up to 7% to 8% of the population is affected, and in 5% of individuals it may be severe.

Useful Links

  • The European Federation of IASP® Chapters
  • Pain Alliance Europe
  • American Pain Society
  • Partners against Pain