About this Research Topic
Chronic pain affects millions of people worldwide and presents a huge social and economic burden. Management of chronic pain in humans is currently inadequate and clinically-available drugs are often poorly tolerated or potentially addictive.
The development of new treatments to alleviate chronic pain has been challenging and positive preclinical animal data generally has not translated well to pain relief in patients. Furthermore, behavioral approaches used in the study of pain in rodents have frequently been criticized for their lack of relevance to the human condition.
Whilst there is variability in the patient experience of chronic pain and the available treatments, understanding the lived experience is key in ensuring new treatments can improve quality of life.
Pain has two main components, a sensory and an affective or ‘emotional’ component, and both should be considered when searching for new analgesics. Heightened pain sensitivity is commonly observed in patients with chronic pain and they often develop associated emotional dysfunction and symptoms such as depression and anxiety. The combination of affective comorbidity and chronic pain is often associated with worse clinical outcomes. Moreover, functional neuroimaging in people with chronic pain has shown changes in brain areas involved in reward and motivation, thus suggesting that affect and motivation must be considered when developing effective treatments.
The goal of this Research Topic is to bring together a collection of papers that highlight the challenges of developing effective treatment for pain, including animal models, behavioural paradigms, clinical trials and the patient experience. In so doing, these insights will clarify the relationship of the pain measures in rodents and the pain experience in humans. There is an increased interest on the cognitive influence on pain experience; research focusing on the individual’s view of pain and also on how pre-existing views affect the response to pain treatment, including case studies and clinical research.
We welcome the submission of manuscripts including, but not limited to, the following topics:
• Animal models of pain and their pharmacological characterization using clinically available analgesic agents
• Novel molecular target for pain treatment
• Pathobiological insight generated by these models
• Novel target identified for use in drug discovery programs
• Pain measurement in humans: examples from the clinic
• Neuromodulation and non-pharmacological approaches
• Public conception of Pain
• Headache and neuropathic pain management
• Pain Imaging in rodents and humans
• The patient’s experience of chronic pain
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.