The mechanisms by which noxious stimuli produce the sensation of pain in animals are complex. Noxious stimuli are transduced at the periphery and transmitted to the CNS, where this information is subject to considerable modulation. Finally, the information is projected to the brain where it is perceived as pain. Additionally, plasticity can develop in the pain pathway and hyperalgesia and allodynia may develop through sensitisation both peripherally and centrally. A large number of different ion channels, receptors, and cell types are involved in pain perception, and it is hoped that through a better understanding of these, new and refined treatments for pain will result.
Keywords: Analgesia; Neurobiology; Nociception; Pain; Spinal cord.
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