Key Learning Points

• Much information about neuropathic pain models is gleaned from studies in animal models.

• Damage to peripheral nerves causes phenotypic and excitability changes.

• Inflammatory mediators can produce excitation of neurons in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and central nervous system (CNS).

• Nerve injury can lead to cell death and anatomical reorganization.

• A loss of inhibitory mechanisms and increase in excitatory mechanisms are associated with increased activity in the spinal cord in neuropathic pain.

• Microglia are activated in neuropathic pain and release pronociceptive substances which can activate neurons in the spinal cord.

• Supraspinal sites have increased excitatory influences on spinal nociceptive processing following nerve injury.

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