Neuropathic Pain: Epidemiology, Classification, Mechanisms, and Therapy

Science Insights, 07 February 2018
Volume 2018
Doi: 10.15354/si.18.re002
 
Review(Narrative)
Neuropathic Pain: Epidemiology, Classification, Mechanisms, and Therapy
 
Chengyu Zhao, MD, PhD; 1,2,∆ Yangpu Cheng, MD; 1 Jing Yu, MD; 1 Ling Li, MD; 1 Liangde A, MD; 3 Cunwei Shi, MD; 4 Shuncun Wang, MD; 5 Sen Cui, MD, PhD; 2, 6
 
Author Affiliations
  1. Department of Geriatrics, the Affiliated Hospital of Qinghai University,  Xining, Qinghai, China
  2. Research Center for High Altitude Medicine, Qinghai University, Xining, Qinghai, China
  3. Departmrnt of Anesthesia, the Affiliated Hospital of Qinghai University,  Xining, Qinghai, China
  4. Department of Pain, the Affiliated Hospital of Qinghai University,  Xining, Qinghai, China
  5. Department of Neurology, the Affiliated Hospital of Qinghai University,  Xining, Qinghai, China
  6. Department of Hematology, Affiliated Hospital of Qinghai University, Xining, Qinghai, China
∆: Correspondence to: Dr. Chengyu Zhao, MD, PhD, Email: xnzhcy@126.com
 
SUMMARY

 
Neuropathic pain develops because of lesions or disease affecting the somatosensory nervous system either in the periphery or centrally. Examples of neuropathic pain include painful polyneuropathy, post herpetic neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, and post-stroke pain. Clinically, neuropathic pain is characterized by spontaneous ongoing or shooting pain and evoked amplified pain responses after noxious or non-noxious stimuli. Methods such as questionnaires for screening and assessment focus on the presence and quality of neuropathic pain. Basic research is enabling the identification of different pathophysiological mechanisms, and clinical assessment of symptoms and signs can help to determine which mechanisms are involved in specific neuropathic pain disorders. Management of neuropathic pain requires an interdisciplinary approach, centered on pharmacological treatment. A better understanding of neuropathic pain and, in particular, of the translation of pathophysiological mechanisms into sensory signs will lead to a more effective and specific mechanism-based treatment approach.

Keywords: Neuropathic pain; Epidemiology; Mechanisms; Classification; Treatment

 

Author: 

Chengyu Zhao, MD, PhD; Yangpu