Future Directions in Pain Management: Integrating Anatomically Selective Delivery Techniques With Novel Molecularly Selective AgentsTreatment for chronic, locoregional pain ranks among the most prevalent unmet medical needs. The failure of systemic analgesic drugs, such as opioids, is often due to their off-target toxicity, development of tolerance, and abuse potential. Interventional pain procedures provide target specificity but lack pharmacologically selective agents with long-term efficacy. Gene therapy vectors are a new tool for the development of molecularly selective pain therapies, which have already been proved to provide durable analgesia in preclinical models.
Neuropathic Pain: Principles of Diagnosis and TreatmentNeuropathic pain is caused by disease or injury of the nervous system and includes various chronic conditions that, together, affect up to 8% of the population. A substantial body of neuropathic pain research points to several important contributory mechanisms including aberrant ectopic activity in nociceptive nerves, peripheral and central sensitization, impaired inhibitory modulation, and pathological activation of microglia. Clinical evaluation of neuropathic pain requires a thorough history and physical examination to identify characteristic signs and symptoms.
Contemporary Management of Neuropathic Pain for the Primary Care PhysicianNeuropathic pain (NP), caused by a primary lesion or dysfunction in the nervous system, affects approximately 4 million people in the United States each year. It is associated with many diseases, including diabetic peripheral neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, human immunodeficiency virus-related disorders, and chronic radiculopathy. Major pathophysiological mechanisms include peripheral sensitization, sympathetic activation, disinhibition, and central sensitization. Unlike most acute pain conditions, NP is extremely difficult to treat successfully with conventional analgesics.