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The Neurobiology of Pain(Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology)$
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Stephen Hunt and Martin Koltzenburg

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198515616

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198515616.001.0001

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Cellular and molecular mechanisms of central sensitization

Cellular and molecular mechanisms of central sensitization

(p.95) Chapter 4 Cellular and molecular mechanisms of central sensitization
The Neurobiology of Pain

michael W. Salter

Clifford J. Woolf

Oxford University Press

As a sensory and emotional experience generally associated with tissue-damaging or nearly tissue-damaging stimuli, pain might be considered to be a unitary physiological and pathological process. However, a wealth of evidence indicates that multiple mechanisms contribute to pain, each of which is subject to or an expression of neural plasticity (i.e. the capacity of neurons to change their function, chemical profile, or structure). Three principal categories of pain have been identified: physiological, inflammatory, and neuropathic. This chapter discusses these categories of pain and the mechanisms of pain hypersensitivity using the concepts of activation, modulation, and modification as applied to integration and processing of sensory inputs by the network of nociceptive neurons in the dorsal horn.

Keywords:   pain, molecular mechanisms, hypersensitivity, activation, modulation, modification, nociceptive neurons, dorsal horn

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