Functional Neuroanatomy of Pain
Pain is defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)
as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or
potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage or both.
Pain is an unpleasant but very important biological signal for danger. Nociception is
necessary for survival and maintaining the integrity of the organism in a potentially
hostile environment (Hunt and Mantyh 2001; Scholz andWoolf 2002).
Pain is not a monolithic entity. It is both a sensory experience and a perceptual metaphor for damage (i.e., mechanically, by infection), and it is activated by noxious stimuli that act on a complex pain sensory apparatus.
However, sustained or chronic pain can result in secondary symptoms (anxiety,
depression), and in a marked decrease of the quality of life. This spontaneous
and exaggerated pain no longer has a protective role, but pain becomes a ruining
disease itself (Basbaum 1999; Dworkin and Johnson 1999; Woolf and Mannion
1999; Dworkin et al. 2000; Hunt and Mantyh 2001; Scholz andWoolf 2002). If pain
becomes the pathology, typically via damage and dysfunction of the peripheral
and central nervous system, it is termed “neuropathic pain.”
Here, we present an updated review of the functional anatomy of normal and neuropathic pain.
Author:K.G. Usunoff · A. Popratiloff ·,O. Schmitt · A.Wree
Publisher: Springer; 1 edition (November 14, 2005)