About this Research Topic
That sensations arise directly from the internal organs is widely accepted today, but it was an issue of considerable disagreement a few decades ago. The nature of sensations from the viscera is distinctly different from somatic sensations arising from the skin and muscular-skeletal structures. Despite a large number of emerging reports, the mechanism of visceral pain is still relatively less understood than that of somatic pain. This is primarily due to diverse nature of visceral pain compounded by multiple factors such as sexual dimorphism, psychophysical stress, genetic trait and nature of predisposed disease. Although the knowledge in this area has recently been advanced significantly, many questions specifically about the onset of chronic visceral pain and functional abdominal pain still remain debatable and unanswered. For example, neonatal stress-induced chronic visceral hyperalgesia could be different from that in adults. Stress and noxious stimulus early in life can affect the normal development pain signaling neuroaxis including hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, descending pain modulatory system of ponto-medullary zone, and expressions profile of receptor molecules in the spinal cord. Similarly, sexual dimorphism plays a critical role in differential pain sensations. Considering these diverse mechanisms of visceral pain, the treatment strategy and therapeutic interventions will depend on disease symptoms. Therefore, it is time to review and summarize our current emerging knowledge in visceral (thoracic and abdominal) pain.
In this Research Topic on visceral pain, we encourage submission of original research articles, reviews, short communications, and research reports focused on clinical and/or basic science/translational studies related to neuro-anatomical, neuro-physiological, and neuro-molecular advancements in visceral pain. Manuscripts describing the development of novel animal models to study visceral pain or “re-purposing” of existing animal models are also encouraged.
Keywords: visceral pain, bladder pain, pelvic pain, bladder pain syndrome, functional pain, functional genitourinary and gastrointestinal disorders, irritable bowel syndrome.
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