The Neuropathic Pain Knowledge Centre is a unique resource containing a wealth of current information in this field of medicine.
The nervous system (central and peripheral) constantly receives and interprets information about the body's surroundings and the body's own functioning, responding by sending out messages to tissues and organs.
The Knowledge Centre addresses the two types of pain: nociceptive and clinical. Nocicpetive pain aims to protect individuals from harm. Clinical pain results from damage or inflammation of a part of the body and consists of both spontaneous pain that may arise with no apparent peripheral stimulus, and from hypersensitivity to peripheral stimuli1 due to peripheral and central sensitisations.
Neuropathic pain is often described as a shooting, stabbing or burning sensation. Estimates suggest that neuropathic pain may affect as much as 3% of the population.
Different types of neuropathic pain exist depending on their origin, details of which can be found in the Knowledge Centre: Painful Diabetic Neuropathy, Herpes Zoster and Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN), HIV Associated-Neuropathy (HIV-AN), Cancer-related Neuropathic Pain, Post-surgical/Post-traumatic Neuropathic Pain.
To help physicians in the pharmacological management of this condition, recent guidelines are available.
1. Ji R-R, et al. Central sensitization and LTP: Do pain and memory share similar mechanisms? Trends in Neuroscience 2003;26(12):696–705
Date of preparation: August 2012 PAIN/12/0003/EUd