This brief overview of mechanisms of neuropathic pain outlines the complex nature of the response of the nervous system to a peripheral nerve injury. There is little doubt that a combination of mechanisms, involving peripheral, spinal, and supraspinal mediated events, contribute to the manifestation of neuropathic pain in any one individual. Eventually, it may be possible to improve the ethos of clinical management protocols so that they will move away from disease-based treatment towards symptom or, ultimately, mechanism-based therapies.34 However, this will require a better understanding of mechanisms involved in neuropathic pain and reliable convenient tools for their assessment in the clinic.33 It must be emphasized that the majority of pre-clinical studies employ animal models of nerve injury and measure associated hypersensitivity, which is only evident in a subset of patients with neuropathic pain. Therefore, improvement of animal models and behavioral tests will possibly unravel more therapeutically relevant mechanisms. Advances in technology have led to new approaches for the identification of novel targets involved in neuropathic pain. For example, microarray technology generates data regarding a large number of genes which can lead to the investigation of promising novel targets in neuropathic pain.205 Additionally, our understanding of genetics may uncover genetic variation in the susceptibility of individuals to develop neuropathic pain,206 which can also aid our understanding of specific mechanistic alterations and "genetically tailor'' analgesics based on an individual's pharmacogenetic profile.
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This guide will help millions of people understand this condition so that they can take control of their lives and make informed decisions. The ebook covers information on a vast number of different types of neuropathy. In addition, it will be a useful resource for their families, caregivers, and health care providers.