Deafferentation pain syndromes

Neurol Clin. 1989 May;7(2):289-304.


Neuropathic pain is a major clinical problem and is often a source of persistent suffering and disability for patients with deafferenting injuries. In addition to the emotional burden of this persistent pain, patients' lives are frequently disrupted socially and financially. Understanding of the mechanisms that underlie neuropathic pain is poor, although there is evidence for widespread changes within the peripheral and central somatosensory nervous systems of such patients. In addition, treatment for neuropathic pain is often ineffective. Some degree of symptom control is often possible, however, through a multidisciplinary approach. This approach includes medications, physical treatments, and behavioral modifications. The limited understanding we have of the mechanisms of neuropathic pain is a strong reason to actively pursue further research into the pathophysiology of these conditions. Continued clinical and basic investigations into neuropathic pain also provide the best chance of finding treatments that are effective.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / physiopathology*