Deconstructing the neuropathic pain phenotype to reveal neural mechanisms

Neuron. 2012 Feb 23;73(4):638-52. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.02.008.


After nerve injury maladaptive changes can occur in injured sensory neurons and along the entire nociceptive pathway within the CNS, which may lead to spontaneous pain or pain hypersensitivity. The resulting neuropathic pain syndromes present as a complex combination of negative and positive symptoms, which vary enormously from individual to individual. This variation depends on a diversity of underlying pathophysiological changes resulting from the convergence of etiological, genotypic, and environmental factors. The pain phenotype can serve therefore, as a window on underlying pathophysiological neural mechanisms and as a guide for developing personalized pain medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways* / pathology
  • Afferent Pathways* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neuralgia / diagnosis*
  • Neuralgia / etiology
  • Neuralgia / genetics
  • Neuralgia / physiopathology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain Threshold / physiology
  • Peripheral Nerves / pathology*
  • Phenotype*