About this Research Topic
Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Acute pain is a direct outcome of a noxious event and is often classified as a symptom of the underlying tissue damage which precipitated it. When pain persists, often long after the tissue damage has healed, pain is considered to be a disease in its own right. Chronic pain is characterized by its long-term nature and abnormal sensitivity to thermal and mechanical stimuli. Such hypersensitivity can be expressed as hyperalgesia, an excessive reaction to normally painful input; allodynia, a painful response to normally innocuous stimuli; or spontaneous pain with no identifiable cause. Chronic or persistent pain can lead to a series of physical and psychosocial changes such as disability, anxiety, depression and disturbed sleep. These secondary symptoms, in addition to the persistent pain itself, often have a devastating impact on the patient’s quality of life.
Chronic pain is estimated to be one of the most prevalent health problems in the world, with almost all of us dealing with it at some point in our lives. Although scientists have made great advances in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms through which persistent pain develops, this knowledge has not been translated into safe and effective therapies. Indeed, current gold-standard analgesics for chronic pain management have limited efficacy in the majority of patients, produce many side effects, and in the case of opioids, have a major abuse liability with a high risk of death. Therefore, the management of chronic pain is a major unmet clinical need and the lack of effective treatment places an immense burden on patients, families, health-care systems and society in general.
The research topic Advances in the Biology and Medicine of Pain aims to bring together academics, basic scientists and clinicians who are devoted to advancing the understanding of the neurobiological and molecular mechanisms underlying chronic pain, to improve the management of this disease worldwide. The purpose of this research topic is to collect original basic research studies, preclinical or clinical articles describing pain biomarkers, new pharmacological or scientific interventions for the treatment of chronic pain. As well as reviews and perspective articles to create a cohesive understanding of recent advances and future directions in the pathophysiology and treatment of persistent pain. Finally, this research topic will also collect the proceedings of the Advances in the Biology and Medicine of Pain Symposium that will be held in Florianópolis Brazil, December 5 – 7, 2018, where twenty leading scientists will present cutting-edge clinical and laboratory-based research related to the understanding and treatment of chronic pain.
Keywords: pain, biomarkers, neuromodulation, pain management
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