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Papers: 10 Sep 2022 - 16 Sep 2022

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Neuronally expressed PDL1, not PD1, suppresses acute nociception.

PDL1 is a protein that induces immunosuppression by binding to PD1 expressed on immune cells. In line with historical studies, we found that membrane-bound PD1 expression was largely restricted to immune cells; PD1 was not detectable at either the mRNA or protein level in peripheral neurons using single neuron qPCR, immunolabeling and flow cytometry. However, we observed widespread expression of PDL1 in both sensory and sympathetic neurons that could have important implications for patients receiving immunotherapies targeting this pathway that include unexpected autonomic and sensory related effects. While signaling pathways downstream of PD1 are well established, little to no information is available regarding the intracellular signaling downstream of membrane-bound PDL1 (also known as reverse signaling). Here, we administered soluble PD1 to engage neuronally expressed PDL1 and found that PD1 significantly reduced nocifensive behaviors evoked by algogenic capsaicin. We used calcium imaging to examine the underlying neural mechanism of this reduction and found that exogenous PD1 diminished TRPV1-dependent calcium transients in dissociated sensory neurons. Furthermore, we observed a reduction in membrane expression of TRPV1 following administration of PD1. Exogenous PD1 had no effect on pain-related behaviors in sensory neuron specific PDL1 knockout mice. These data indicate that neuronal PDL1 activation is sufficient to modulate sensitivity to noxious stimuli and as such, may be an important homeostatic mechanism for regulating acute nociception.

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PD-1/PD-L1 inhibition enhances chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain by suppressing neuroimmune antinociceptive signaling.

Cytotoxic agents synergize with immune checkpoint inhibitors and improve outcomes for patients with several cancer types. Nonetheless, a parallel increase in the incidence of dose-limiting side effects, such as peripheral neuropathy, is often observed. Here, we investigated the role of the PD-1/PD-L1 axis in the modulation of paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain. We found that human and mouse neural tissues, including the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), expressed basal levels of PD-1 and PD-L1. During the development of paclitaxel-induced neuropathy, an increase in PD-L1 expression was observed in macrophages from the DRG. This effect depended on Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) activation by paclitaxel. Furthermore, PD-L1 inhibited pain behavior triggered by paclitaxel or formalin in mice, suggesting that PD-1/PD-L1 signaling attenuates peripheral neuropathy development. Consistent with this, we observed that the combined use of anti-PD-L1 plus paclitaxel increased mechanical allodynia and chronic neuropathy development induced by single agents. This effect was associated with higher expression of inflammatory markers (Tnf, Il6, and Cx3cr1) in peripheral nervous tissue. Together, these results suggest that PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors enhance paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain by suppressing PD-1/PD-L1 antinociceptive signaling.

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Shear stress activates nociceptors to drive Drosophila mechanical nociception.

Mechanical nociception is essential for animal survival. However, the forces involved in nociceptor activation and the underlying mechanotransduction mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we address these problems by investigating nocifensive behavior in Drosophila larvae. We show that strong poking stimulates nociceptors with a mixture of forces including shear stress and stretch. Unexpectedly, nociceptors are selectively activated by shear stress, but not stretch. Both the shear stress responses of nociceptors and nocifensive behavior require transient receptor potential A1 (TrpA1), which is specifically expressed in nociceptors. We further demonstrate that expression of mammalian or Drosophila TrpA1 in heterologous cells confers responses to shear stress but not stretch. Finally, shear stress activates TrpA1 in a membrane-delimited manner, through modulation of membrane fluidity. Together, our study reveals TrpA1 as an evolutionarily conserved mechanosensitive channel specifically activated by shear stress and suggests a critical role of shear stress in activating nociceptors to drive mechanical nociception.

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Genetic risk factors have a substantial impact on healthy life years.

The impact of genetic variation on overall disease burden has not been comprehensively evaluated. We introduce an approach to estimate the effect of genetic risk factors on disability-adjusted life years (DALYs; 'lost healthy life years'). We use genetic information from 735,748 individuals and consider 80 diseases. Rare variants had the highest effect on DALYs at the individual level. Among common variants, rs3798220 (LPA) had the strongest individual-level effect, with 1.18 DALYs from carrying 1 versus 0 copies. Being in the top 10% versus the bottom 90% of a polygenic score for multisite chronic pain had an effect of 3.63 DALYs. Some common variants had a population-level effect comparable to modifiable risk factors such as high sodium intake and low physical activity. Attributable DALYs vary between males and females for some genetic exposures. Genetic risk factors can explain a sizable number of healthy life years lost both at the individual and population level.

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HDAC6 inhibition reverses cisplatin-induced mechanical hypersensitivity via tonic delta opioid receptor signaling.

Peripheral neuropathic pain induced by the chemotherapeutic cisplatin can persist for months to years after treatment. Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) inhibitors have therapeutic potential for cisplatin-induced neuropathic pain since they persistently reverse mechanical hypersensitivity and spontaneous pain in rodent models. Here, we investigated the mechanisms underlying reversal of mechanical hypersensitivity in male and female mice by a two-week treatment with an HDAC6 inhibitor, administered 3 days after the last dose of cisplatin. Mechanical hypersensitivity in animals of both sexes treated with the HDAC6 inhibitor was temporarily reinstated by a single injection of the neutral opioid receptor antagonist 6β-naltrexol or the peripherally restricted opioid receptor antagonist naloxone methiodide. These results suggest that tonic peripheral opioid ligand-receptor signaling mediates reversal of cisplatin-induced mechanical hypersensitivity after treatment with an HDAC6 inhibitor. Pointing to a specific role for delta opioid receptors (DORs), expression was decreased in dorsal root ganglion neurons following cisplatin administration, but normalized after treatment with an HDAC6 inhibitor. Mechanical hypersensitivity was temporarily reinstated in both sexes by a single injection of the DOR antagonist naltrindole. Consistently, HDAC6 inhibition failed to reverse cisplatin-induced hypersensitivity when DORs were genetically deleted from advillin neurons. Mechanical hypersensitivity was also temporarily reinstated in both sexes by a single injection of a neutralizing antibody against the DOR ligand met-enkephalin. In conclusion, we reveal that treatment with an HDAC6 inhibitor induces tonic enkephalin-DOR signaling in peripheral sensory neurons to suppress mechanical hypersensitivity.Over a quarter of cancer survivors suffer from intractable painful chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), which can last for months to years after treatment ends. HDAC6 inhibition is a novel strategy to reverse CIPN without negatively interfering with tumor growth, but the mechanisms responsible for persistent reversal are not well understood. We built on evidence that the endogenous opioid system contributes to the spontaneous, apparent resolution of pain caused by nerve damage or inflammation, referred to as latent sensitization. We show that blocking the delta opioid receptor or its ligand enkephalin unmasks CIPN in mice treated with an HDAC6 inhibitor (latent sensitization). Our work provides insight into the mechanisms by which treatment with an HDAC6 inhibitor apparently reverses CIPN.

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Consistent pattern between physical activity measures and chronic pain levels: the Tromsø Study 2015-2016.

Epidemiological literature on the relationship between physical activity and chronic pain is scarce and inconsistent. Hence, our aim was to assess the relationship applying comprehensive methodology, including self-reported and accelerometer measures of physical activity and different severity levels of chronic pain. We used data from the Tromsø Study (2015-2016). All residents in the municipality, aged 40 years and older were invited to participate (n=32,591, 51% women). A total of 21,083 (53% women) reported on questionnaires. Additionally, 6,778 participants (54% women) were invited to wear accelerometers (6,125 with complete measurements). Our exposure measures were self-reported leisure time physical activity, exercise frequency, duration and intensity and two accelerometer-measures (steps per day and minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day). Outcome measurements were chronic pain and moderate-to-severe chronic pain. We used Poisson regression to estimate chronic pain prevalence and prevalence ratios for each physical activity measure, with adjustments for sex, age, education level, smoking history, and occupational physical activity. Our main analyses showed an inverse dose-response relationships between all physical activity measures and both severity measures of chronic pain, except that the dose-response relationship with exercise duration was only found for moderate-to-severe pain. All findings were stronger for the moderate-to-severe pain outcomes than for chronic pain. Robustness analyses gave similar results as the main analyses. We conclude that an inverse dose-response association between physical activity and chronic pain is consistent across measures. To summarize, higher levels of physical activity is associated with less chronic pain and moderate-to-severe chronic pain.

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The double insult of neonatal cystitis plus adult somatic inflammation results in corticotropin releasing factor type 2 receptor-dependent bladder hypersensitivity in female rats.

The spinal mechanisms of visceral hypersensitivity are poorly understood, particularly when there is an interaction with somatic systems. Recently we demonstrated that rats which were pretreated with neonatal bladder inflammation (NBI) and subsequently pretreated as adults with bladder re-inflammation had augmented reflex and neuronal responses to urinary bladder distension via a corticotropin-releasing factor receptor type 2 (CRFR2) mechanism. Another insult producing similar augmented responses is somatic inflammation induced by Complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA) in the hindlimb. Using neurochemical measures and both reflex and neuronal responses to urinary bladder distension as endpoints, the present study probed the role of CRFR2-related mechanisms in bladder hyperalgesia secondary to NBI and CFA-induced hindlimb inflammation. ELISA measures of the lumbosacral spinal cord demonstrated increased CRFR2 protein following pretreatment with NBI+CFA. Intrathecal CRFR2 antagonists blocked the augmentation of visceromotor responses to distension following pretreatment with both NBI+CFA. Lumbosacral dorsal horn neuronal responses to bladder distension in rats pretreated with NBI+CFA were attenuated by the spinal topical administration of a CRFR2 antagonist. These findings are the first demonstration of a somatovisceral interaction working via CRFR2 receptors and support the therapeutic value of these agents in the treatment of painful bladder disorders, particularly when triggered by somatic events. (Word Count 199) PERSPECTIVE: Bladder hypersensitivity occurs following neonatal cystitis and an adult insult such as somatic inflammation. This paper demonstrates that CRFR2-related mechanisms are associated with this hypersensitivity. This supports the therapeutic value of these agents in the treatment of painful bladder disorders, particularly when triggered by somatic events.

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A TRPM7 mutation linked to familial trigeminal neuralgia: Omega current and hyperexcitability of trigeminal ganglion neurons.

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a unique pain disorder characterized by intense paroxysmal facial pain within areas innervated by the trigeminal nerve. Although most cases of TN are sporadic, familial clusters of TN suggest that genetic factors may contribute to this disorder. Whole-exome sequencing in patients with TN reporting positive family history demonstrated a spectrum of variants of ion channels including TRP channels. Here, we used patch-clamp analysis and Ca and Na imaging to assess a rare variant in the TRPM7 channel, p.Ala931Thr, within transmembrane domain 3, identified in a man suffering from unilateral TN. We showed that A931T produced an abnormal inward current carried by Na and insensitive to the pore blocker Gd. Hypothesizing that replacement of the hydrophobic alanine at position 931 with the more polar threonine destabilizes a hydrophobic ring, near the voltage sensor domain, we performed alanine substitutions of F971 and W972 and obtained results suggesting a role of A931-W972 hydrophobic interaction in S3-S4 hydrophobic cleft stability. Finally, we transfected trigeminal ganglion neurons with A931T channels and observed that expression of this TRPM7 variant lowers current threshold and resting membrane potential, and increases evoked firing activity in TG neurons. Our results support the notion that the TRPM7-A931T mutation located in the S3 segment at the interface with the transmembrane region S4, generates an omega current that carries Na influx in physiological conditions. A931T produces hyperexcitability and a sustained Na influx in trigeminal ganglion neurons that may underlie pain in this kindred with trigeminal neuralgia.

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The effects of pain science education plus exercise on pain and function in chronic Achilles tendinopathy: a blinded, placebo-controlled, explanatory, randomized trial.

Exercise is the standard of care for Achilles tendinopathy (AT), but 20% to 50% of patients continue to have pain following rehabilitation. The addition of pain science education (PSE) to an exercise program may enhance clinical outcomes, yet this has not been examined in patients with AT. Furthermore, little is known about how rehabilitation for AT alters the fear of movement and central nervous system nociceptive processing. Participants with chronic AT (N = 66) were randomized to receive education about AT either from a biopsychosocial (PSE) or from a biomedical (pathoanatomical education [PAE]) perspective. Simultaneously, all participants completed an exercise program over 8 weeks. Linear mixed models indicated that there were no differences between groups in (1) movement-evoked pain with both groups achieving a clinically meaningful reduction (mean change [95% CI], PSE: -3.0 [-3.8 to -2.2], PAE = -3.6 [-4.4 to -2.8]) and (2) self-reported function, with neither group achieving a clinically meaningful improvement (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Physical Function-PSE: 1.8 [0.3-3.4], PAE: 2.5 [0.8-4.2]). After rehabilitation, performance-based function improved (number of heel raises: 5.2 [1.6-8.8]), central nervous system nociceptive processing remained the same (conditioned pain modulation: -11.4% [0.2 to -17.3]), and fear of movement decreased (Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia, TSK-17: -6.5 [-4.4 to -8.6]). Linear regression models indicated that baseline levels of pain and function along with improvements in self-efficacy and knowledge gain were associated with a greater improvement in pain and function, respectively. Thus, acquiring skills for symptom self-management and the process of learning may be more important than the specific educational approach for short-term clinical outcomes in patients with AT.

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Disentangling self from pain: mindfulness meditation-induced pain relief is driven by thalamic-default mode network decoupling.

For millenniums, mindfulness was believed to diminish pain by reducing the influence of self-appraisals of noxious sensations. Today, mindfulness meditation is a highly popular and effective pain therapy that is believed to engage multiple, nonplacebo-related mechanisms to attenuate pain. Recent evidence suggests that mindfulness meditation-induced pain relief is associated with the engagement of unique cortico-thalamo-cortical nociceptive filtering mechanisms. However, the functional neural connections supporting mindfulness meditation-based analgesia remain unknown. This mechanistically focused clinical trial combined functional magnetic resonance imaging with psychophysical pain testing (49°C stimulation and pain visual analogue scales) to identify the neural connectivity supporting the direct modulation of pain-related behavioral and neural responses by mindfulness meditation. We hypothesized that mindfulness meditation-based pain relief would be reflected by greater decoupling between brain mechanisms supporting appraisal (prefrontal) and nociceptive processing (thalamus). After baseline pain testing, 40 participants were randomized to a well-validated, 4-session mindfulness meditation or book-listening regimen. Functional magnetic resonance imaging and noxious heat (49°C; right calf) were combined during meditation to test study hypotheses. Mindfulness meditation significantly reduced behavioral and neural pain responses when compared to the controls. Preregistered (NCT03414138) whole-brain analyses revealed that mindfulness meditation-induced analgesia was moderated by greater thalamus-precuneus decoupling and ventromedial prefrontal deactivation, respectively, signifying a pain modulatory role across functionally distinct neural mechanisms supporting self-referential processing. Two separate preregistered seed-to-seed analyses found that mindfulness meditation-based pain relief was also associated with weaker contralateral thalamic connectivity with the prefrontal and primary somatosensory cortex, respectively. Thus, we propose that mindfulness meditation is associated with a novel self-referential nociceptive gating mechanism to reduce pain.

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Cellular mechanisms mediating the antinociceptive effect of botulinum toxin A in a rodent model of trigeminal irritation by a foreign body.

Although numerous studies have described botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) efficacy against trigeminal neuralgia (TN), the underlying cellular mechanisms remain unclear. We have investigated cellular mechanisms that mediate the antinociceptive effect of BTX-A in a rodent model of TN produced by compression of the trigeminal nerve root (TNR). Anesthetized male Sprague-Dawley rats were fixed in a stereotaxic instrument and compression of the TNR was then achieved with a 4% agar solution. This model produced significant mechanical allodynia and increased the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and cytokines levels including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in the trigeminal ganglion (TG) by postoperative day (POD) 7. Single or double treatments with a high BTX-A dose (3 U/kg) led to significantly prolonged antinociceptive effects. Furthermore, a single treatment with BTX-A (3 U/kg) significantly suppressed the upregulation of HIF-1α expression and IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α concentrations in the TG. Intraganglionic injection of PX-12, a HIF-1α inhibitor, led to significant anti-allodynic effects and lowered the IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α levels in the TG. These findings indicate that the antinociceptive effect of BTX-A is mediated via HIF-1α associated cytokines modulation in the TG and is therefore a potentially relevant treatment strategy for TN. PERSPECTIVE: The antinociceptive properties of BTX-A in a rat model of trigeminal neuralgia are mediated through the regulation of the HIF-1α associated cytokine pathway in the trigeminal ganglion. BTX-A is therefore a potentially effective treatment strategy for trigeminal neuralgia.

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Frozen shoulder.

Frozen shoulder is a common debilitating disorder characterized by shoulder pain and progressive loss of shoulder movement. Frozen shoulder is frequently associated with other systemic conditions or occurs following periods of immobilization, and has a protracted clinical course, which can be frustrating for patients as well as health-care professionals. Frozen shoulder is characterized by fibroproliferative tissue fibrosis, whereby fibroblasts, producing predominantly type I and type III collagen, transform into myofibroblasts (a smooth muscle phenotype), which is accompanied by inflammation, neoangiogenesis and neoinnervation, resulting in shoulder capsular fibrotic contractures and the associated clinical stiffness. Diagnosis is heavily based on physical examination and can be difficult depending on the stage of disease or if concomitant shoulder pathology is present. Management consists of physiotherapy, therapeutic modalities such as steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medications, hydrodilation and surgical interventions; however, their effectiveness remains unclear. Facilitating translational science should aid in development of novel therapies to improve outcomes among individuals with this debilitating condition.

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Healthy dietary indices and non-cancer pain: a systematic review of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies.

Pain is a global public health problem given its high prevalence and incidence, long duration, and social and economic impact. There is growing interest in nutrition as potential modifiable risk factor related to pain; however, the associations between healthy dietary patterns and pain have not yet been well established. Thus, we aimed to systematically review and synthesise current cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence on the relationship between a priori healthy dietary patterns and non-cancer pain among adults aged≥18 years. We identified relevant published cross-sectional and longitudinal studies by systematically searching several electronic databases from inception to September 2021. Risk of bias was assessed using the modified Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for cohort studies. A total of 14 cross-sectional and six longitudinal studies were included in the review. These studies measured different dietary scores/indices, such as different measures of adherence to the Mediterranean diet and the dietary inflammatory index. Pain ascertainment methods and pain measurements used differed across studies. All twenty of the included studies had different study designs and statistical analysis. Of these studies, 10 reported an inverse association between adherence to a healthy dietary pattern and pain, 5 reported mixed results, and 5 reported no associations. Despite notable heterogeneity, 50% of included observational studies reported that adherence to a healthy diet, particularly the Mediterranean diet, is inversely associated with pain. Of note, the cross-sectional design of most studies precludes any causal interpretation. Moreover, limited and inconsistent evidence from longitudinal studies highlights the need for further studies.

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Brain Connectivity Predicts Chronic Pain in Acute Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

Previous studies have established the role of the cortico-mesolimbic and descending pain modulation systems in chronic pain prediction. Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is an acute pain model where chronic pain is prevalent and complicated for prediction. In this study, we set out to study whether functional connectivity (FC) of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the periaqueductal gray matter (PAG) is predictive of pain chronification in early-acute mTBI.

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M378 exhibits anti-inflammatory activities through NLRP3 signaling pathway.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently used drugs due to their values in attenuating pain, fever and inflammation. Unfortunately, conspicuous adverse effects, such as gastrointestinal (GI) damage and/or cardiovascular events have impeded their application in clinic. M378 is a novel hydrogen sulfide-releasing NSAIDs with uncompromised potency and negligible toxicity compared to the existing NSAIDs. However, its anti-inflammatory activity and mechanism are still an enigma. Here we investigated the effect of M378 on the NLRP3 inflammasome signaling pathway and addressed the underlying molecular mechanism. Our data in vitro showed that M378 dose-dependently inhibited the cleavage of Caspase-1 and the secretion of active IL-1β and blocked NLRP3-dependent pyroptosis in LPS-primed J774A.1 macrophages. Furthermore, M378 remarkably inhibited upstream ASC oligomerization and ROS production regarding the process of NLRP3 inflammasome assembly. Our data in vivo demonstrated that M378 protected mice from acute liver injury, reducing the levels of ALT/AST and IL-1β and improving hepatic pathological damages. Immunoblot analysis revealed that M378 inhibited the expressions of Caspase-1 and IL-1β in liver tissues of ALI mice. We also showed that M378 alleviated IL-1β secretion and peritoneal neutrophils infiltration in MSU-elicited acute peritonitis mice. In conclusion, M378 exerted its anti-inflammatory effect both in vitro and in vivo and its mechanisms are at least connected to its inhibitory performance on the generation of ASC oligomers and ROS production. These findings give an insight. into the molecular mechanism of hydrogen sulfide-releasing NSAIDs and support a potent therapeutic role of M378 in the treatment of NLRP3-driven inflammatory diseases.

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Interplay between cellular changes in the knee joint, circulating lipids and pain behaviours in a slowly progressing murine model of osteoarthritis.

Synovial inflammation has known contributions to chronic osteoarthritis (OA) pain, but the potential role in transitions from early to late stages of OA pain is unclear.

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K channel Kv4.1 is expressed in the nociceptors/secondary nociceptive neurons and participates in pain regulation.

Kv4 channels are key components controlling neuronal excitability at membrane potentials below action potential thresholds. It remains elusive whether Kv4.1 participates in pain regulation.

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Maintenance of response and predictive factors of one-year GalcanezumAb treatment in Real Life migraine patients in ITaly: the multicenter prospective cohort GARLIT study.

To evaluate the one-year effectiveness and tolerability of galcanezumab in real life and the prognostic indicators of persistent response.

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Recent advances for using human induced-pluripotent stem cells as pain-in-a-dish models of neuropathic pain.

Neuropathic pain is amongst the most common non-communicable disorders and the poor effectiveness of current treatment is an unmet need. Although pain is a universal experience, there are significant inter-individual phenotypic differences. Developing models that can accurately recapitulate the clinical pain features is crucial to better understand underlying pathophysiological mechanisms and find innovative treatments. Current data from heterologous expression systems that investigate properties of specific molecules involved in pain signaling, and from animal models, show limited success with their translation into the development of novel treatments for pain. This is in part because they do not recapitulate the native environment in which a particular molecule functions, and due to species-specific differences in the properties of several key molecules that are involved in pain signaling. The limited availability of post-mortem tissue, in particular dorsal root ganglia (DRG), has hampered research using human cells in pre-clinical studies. Human induced-pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have emerged as an exciting alternative platform to study patient-specific diseases. Sensory neurons that are derived from iPSCs (iPSC-SNs) have provided new avenues towards elucidating peripheral pathophysiological mechanisms, the potential for development of personalized treatments, and as a cell-based system for high-throughput screening for discovering novel analgesics. Nevertheless, reprogramming and differentiation protocols to obtain nociceptors have mostly yielded immature homogenous cell populations that do not recapitulate the heterogeneity of native sensory neurons. To close the gap between native human tissue and iPSCs, alternative strategies have been developed. We will review here recent developments in differentiating iPSC-SNs and their use in pre-clinical translational studies. Direct conversion of stem cells into the cells of interest has provided a more cost- and time-saving method to improve reproducibility and diversity of sensory cell types. Furthermore, multi-cellular strategies that mimic in vivo microenvironments for cell maturation, by improving cell contact and communication (co-cultures), reproducing the organ complexity and architecture (three-dimensional organoid), and providing iPSCs with the full spatiotemporal context and nutrients needed for acquiring a mature phenotype (xenotransplantation), have led to functional sensory neuron-like systems. Finally, this review touches on novel prospective strategies, including fluorescent-tracking to select the differentiated neurons of relevance, and dynamic clamp, an electrophysiological method that allows direct manipulation of ionic conductances that are missing in iPSC-SNs.

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Itch receptor OSMR attracts industry.

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The use of paracetamol during pregnancy: A qualitative study and possible strategies for a clinical trial.

Paracetamol (N-acetyl-p-aminophenol (APAP), also known as acetaminophen) is used to relieve mild to moderate pain and reduce fever. APAP is widely used during pregnancy as it is considered safe when used as directed by regulatory authorities. However, a significant amount of epidemiological and experimental research suggests that prenatal exposure potentially alters fetal development. In this paper, we summarize the potentially harmful adverse effects of APAP and the limitations of the current evidence. It highlights the urgent need for a clinical trial, and the aim of the presented qualitative pilot study on APAP use during pregnancy is the feasibility of a large-scale randomized controlled trial (RCT). In the qualitative study, we included 232 Danish women from three hospitals in the spring of 2021. After recognizing the pregnancy, 48% had taken any APAP, and 6% had taken it weekly or more than weekly. A total of 27% who had taken APAP in the first trimester of pregnancy (even rarely) would potentially participate in an RCT. In a potential clinical trial, the women would need to be included early in the 1st trimester as the suspected harmful effects of APAP lies within this early reproductive developmental window. A possible recruitment strategy was explored. These data suggest that the target population appears positive towards an RCT. As a negative attitude among users has been considered the major hindrance for such a study, we cannot see hindrances for performing an RCT.

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The influence of age on the prevalence of inflammatory and structural MRI lesions in the SIJ of patients with and without axSpA.

To compare the influence of age on inflammatory (bone marrow oedema. BME) and structural (fat lesions (FL), erosions and ankylosis) MRI lesions in the SIJ of patients with and without axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA).

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Editorial: Ketamine for treatment of acute and chronic pain: The relationship of mechanism and exposure to therapeutic outcome.

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Post-licensure zoster vaccine effectiveness against herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Given the substantial impact of herpes zoster on health and quality of life, and its considerable economic burden, prevention through vaccination is a priority. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the herpes zoster vaccines (recombinant zoster vaccine [RZV] and zoster vaccine live [ZVL]) against incident herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia in older adults.

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DISABILITY AMONG PERSONS WITH CHRONIC SEVERE BACK PAIN: RESULTS FROM A NATIONALLY REPRESENTATIVE POPULATION-BASED SAMPLE.

We evaluated the association between chronic severe back pain with disability and participation, in U.S. Adults using data from the US 2019 National Health Interview Survey. In our sample of 2,925 adults (weighted n: 20,468,134) who reported having chronic severe back pain, 60% reported mobility disability, 60% had work limitations, 34% were limited for social participation and 16% had self-care limitations. Older age (65+) was associated with mobility difficulties (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.28,6.09) and work limitation (OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.61,3.05). Lower socioeconomic status was associated with increasing odds of disability across the four categories. Being obese was only associated with mobility difficulties (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.41,2.71), while not working in the past week was associated with difficulties in mobility (OR 3.55, 95% CI 2.64,4.75), self-care (OR 3.34, 95% CI 2.20,5.08), and social participation (OR 3.20, 95% CI 2.13,4.80). Comorbidities were highly associated with limitations in all four categories. Those deeming their ability to manage their pain ineffective were twice as likely to have limitations in self-care, social and work participation but not mobility. Identifying factors associated with disability and limitation may help target appropriate management for persons with chronic pain at high risk for disability.

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Microglial responses and pain behaviors are exacerbated by chronic sleep deprivation in rats with chronic pain via neuroinflammatory pathways.

The inflammatoryresponse of centralnervoussystem (CNS) and microglial activation is important in the development of pain behaviors induced by sleep deprivation. We found that chronic sleep deprivation (CSD) aggravated pain behaviors in rats with chronic pain by upregulating expression of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), NOD-like receptor pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3), and interleukin 1β (IL-1β), which promoted microglial activation in the brain. We also found that CSD increased numbers of Iba1 and TLR4 cells, as well as neuronal apoptosis. Inhibitors of TLR4 and NLRP3 (TAK-242 and MCC950, respectively) reduced expression levels of inflammatory factor proteins and M1-related factor mRNA, decreased microglial activation, and relieved the hyperalgesia caused by CSD. These results suggest that CSD aggravated pain behavior in rats with chronic pain through the TLR4/NLRP3/IL-1β signaling pathway, which mediates microglial activation and promotes CNS inflammation and neuronal apoptosis.

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Savor the flavor: a randomized double-blind study assessing taste enhanced placebo analgesia in healthy volunteers.

Placebo effects substantially contribute to analgesic treatment outcomes and might be leveraged to enhance gold-standard treatments. The taste of oral medications has been proposed to boost placebo effects. Here, we aimed at estimating in how far the taste of an oral medication enhances placebo analgesia. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, between-group, single-visit study, with pre-treatment baseline. Over the course of three sub-studies, 318 healthy volunteers (297 included) were tested in a clinical-trial setting. Participants were subjected to experimental tonic cold water pain (cold pressor test) before and after receiving taste-neutral (water), or bitter (quinine), or sweet (saccharine), or no placebo drops. Pre- vs post-treatment changes in area under the pain rating curve, the main outcome, indicated that placebo treatment showed a small analgesic effect vs no treatment. Added taste induced placebo enhancement in the very small effect size range, but accounted for a substantial portion of the overall placebo effect. No noteworthy advantage of sweet over bitter placebo was observed. An exploration of heart rate recordings indicated that placebo treatments were associated with an increase in peak heart rate response to cold water, but these were not associated with placebo analgesia at an individual level. Placebo treatments were associated with minimal side effects. These results indicate that added taste may be an easy-to-implement, cost-effective, and safe way to optimize treatment outcomes and that taste-neutral preparations may reduce placebo-related outcome variance in clinical trials. Further studies are needed to test if these findings can be translated into clinical scenarios.

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Facing Pain Together: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of Facebook Support Groups on Adults with Chronic Pain.

Despite the popularity and affordances of social media groups for people with chronic conditions, there have been few controlled tests of the effects of these groups. This randomized controlled superiority trial examined the effects of Facebook groups on pain-related outcomes and tested whether a professional-led group leads to greater effects than a support group alone. We randomly assigned 119 adults with chronic pain to one of two Facebook group conditions: a standard condition (n = 60) in which participants were instructed to offer mutual support, or a professional-led condition (n = 59) in which the investigators disseminated empirically-supported, socially-oriented psychological interventions. Four groups were run (2 standard, 2 professional-led), each lasting 4 weeks and containing approximately 30 participants. Measures were administered at baseline, post-intervention, and 1-month follow-up. Across conditions, participants improved significantly in primary outcomes (pain severity and interference; medium-large effects) and a secondary outcome (depressive symptoms; small-medium effect), and they retained their outcomes 1 month after the groups ended. The two conditions did not differ on improvements. Overall, this study supports the use of social media groups as an additional tool to improve chronic pain-related outcomes. Our findings suggest that professional intervention may not have added value in these groups and that peer support alone may be driving improvements. Alternatively, the psychosocial intervention components used in the current study might have been ineffective, or more therapist direction may be warranted. Future research should examine when and how such guidance could enhance outcomes.

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Functional and morphometric assessment of small-fibre damage in late-onset hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis with polyneuropathy: the controversial relation between small-fibre-related symptoms and diagnostic test findings.

We aimed at investigating whether functional and morphometric tests assessing small-fibre damage, ie quantitative sensory testing, Sudoscan and skin biopsy, reliably reflect neuropathic pain and autonomic symptoms in patients with late-onset hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis with polyneuropathy (ATTRv-PN).

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PRG-1 prevents neonatal stimuli-induced persistent hyperalgesia and memory dysfunction via NSF/Glu/GluR2 signaling.

Neonatal repetitive noxious stimuli (RNS) has been shown to cause long-term harmful effects on nociceptive processing, learning, and memory which persist until adulthood. Plasticity-related gene 1 (PRG-1) regulates synaptic plasticity and functional reorganization in the brain during neuronal development. In this study, neonatal RNS rats were established by repetitive needle pricks to neonatal rats on all four feet to model repetitive pain exposure in infants. Neonatal RNS caused thermal hyperalgesia, mechanical allodynia, learning, and memory impairments which manifested in young rats and persisted until adulthood. Hippocampal PRG-1/N-ethylmaleimide sensitive fusion protein (NSF) interaction was determined to be responsible for the RNS-induced impairment via enhanced extracellular glutamate release and AMPAR GluR2 trafficking deficiency in a cell-autonomous manner. These pathways likely act synergistically to cause changes in dendritic spine density. Our findings suggest that PRG-1 prevents the RNS-induced hyperalgesia, learning, and memory impairment by regulating synaptic plasticity via NSF/Glu/GluR2 signaling.

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The neurobiology of social stress resulting from Racism: Implications for pain disparities among racialized minorities.

Extant literature posits that humans experience two types of threat: physical threat and social threat. While describing pain as "physical" or "social" can be helpful for understanding pain origins (i.e., broken bone versus lost relationship), this dichotomy is largely artificial and not particularly helpful for understanding how the human brain experiences pain. One real world example of social exclusion and rejection that is threatening and likely to bring about significant stress is racism. Racism is a system of beliefs, practices, and policies that operates to disadvantage racialized minorities while providing advantage to those with historical power, particularly White people in the United States and most other Western nations. The objective of this Mini-Review is to present evidence in support of the argument that racism promotes physical pain in racialized minorities, which in turn promotes chronic pain disparities. First, we provide a theoretical framework describing how racism is a potent stressor that affects the health and well-being of racialized minorities. We will then address the neurobiological underpinnings linking racism to social threat, as well as that linking social threats and physical pain. Finally, we will discuss how the perception of social threat brought about by racism may undermine pain management efforts.

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The relationship between patients’ income and education and their access to pharmacological chronic pain management: A scoping review.

Though chronic pain is widespread, affecting about one-fifth of the world's population, its impacts are disproportionately felt across the population according to socioeconomic determinants such as education and income. These factors also influence patients' access to treatment, including pharmacological pain management.

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Cross-species comparisons reveal resistance of human skeletal stem cells to inhibition by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Fracture healing is highly dependent on an early inflammatory response in which prostaglandin production by cyclo-oxygenases (COX) plays a crucial role. Current patient analgesia regimens favor opioids over Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) since the latter have been implicated in delayed fracture healing. While animal studies broadly support a deleterious role of NSAID treatment to bone-regenerative processes, data for human fracture healing remains contradictory. In this study, we prospectively isolated mouse and human skeletal stem cells (SSCs) from fractures and compared the effect of various NSAIDs on their function. We found that osteochondrogenic differentiation of COX2-expressing mouse SSCs was impaired by NSAID treatment. In contrast, human SSCs (hSSC) downregulated COX2 expression during differentiation and showed impaired osteogenic capacity if COX2 was lentivirally overexpressed. Accordingly, short- and long-term treatment of hSSCs with non-selective and selective COX2 inhibitors did not affect colony forming ability, chondrogenic, and osteogenic differentiation potential . When hSSCs were transplanted ectopically into NSG mice treated with Indomethacin, graft mineralization was unaltered compared to vehicle injected mice. Thus, our results might contribute to understanding species-specific differences in NSAID sensitivity during fracture healing and support emerging clinical data which conflicts with other earlier observations that NSAID administration for post-operative analgesia for treatment of bone fractures are unsafe for patients.

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Knockdown of Circ_0037658 Alleviates IL-1β-Induced Osteoarthritis Progression by Serving as a Sponge of miR-665 to Regulate ADAMTS5.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic musculoskeletal degeneration disease which brings great pain to patients and a tremendous burden on the world's medical resources. Previous reports have indicated that circular RNAs (circRNAs) are involved in the pathogenesis of OA. The purpose of this study was to explore the role and mechanism of circ_0037658 in the OA cell model. The content of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) was measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Cell proliferation ability and apoptosis were detected using Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8), 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EDU), and flow cytometry assays. Western blot assay was used to measure the protein levels of Bcl-2-related X protein (Bax), cleaved-caspase-3, MMP13, Aggrecan, and ADAMTS5. The expression of circ_0037658, microRNA-665 (miR-665), and a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTS) 5 was detected using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Dual-luciferase reporter assay and RNA Immunoprecipitation (RIP) assay were manipulated to analyze the relationships of circ_0037658, miR-665, and ADAMTS5. Human chondrocytes (CHON-001 cells) were treated with interleukin-1β (IL-1β) to establish an OA cell model. Circ_0037658 and ADAMTS5 levels were increased, and miR-665 was decreased in OA cartilage samples and IL-1β-treated chondrocyte cells. Moreover, circ_0037658 silencing promoted proliferation and impaired inflammation, apoptosis, and ECM degradation in IL-1β-treated CHON-001 cells. Mechanically, circ_0037658 acted as a sponge for miR-665 to regulate ADAMTS5 expression. Circ_0037658 knockdown relieved IL-1β-triggered chondrocyte injury via regulating the miR-665/ADAMTS5 axis, promising an underlying therapeutic strategy for OA.

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Disrupted Spontaneous Neural Activity and Its Interaction With Pain and Emotion in Temporomandibular Disorders.

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD), especially pain-related TMD, are closely related to social and psychological factors. We aimed to measure changes in spontaneous brain activity and its related functional connectivity (FC), as well as FC characteristics within the mood-regulating circuits (MRC) in TMD patients by resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI), and to analyze the relationship between these parameters and emotional symptoms.

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A Second-generation opioid LC-MS/MS assay improves laboratory workflow and capacity.

The widespread use of opioid drugs has contributed to escalating rates of addiction, overdoses, and drug-related deaths. Targeted urine drug screening plays an important role in supporting the care of patients with chronic pain or addiction. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) can provide excellent sensitivity and specificity, and, as a result, remains the definitive choice for confirmatory urine drug testing. However, the complexities of LC-MS/MS operation present major challenges to the clinical laboratory. In this study, we leveraged upgraded instrumentation to develop and validate a simplified "dilute-and-shoot" LC-MS/MS opioid assay. By modifying the chromatographic gradient, isobaric interferences were well-resolved and eliminated. Analytical ranges were expanded by utilizing alternative mass transitions, and updated quality assurance parameters were established. Results from 204 clinical samples correlated well between the new method and a previous version. The upgraded systems provided better sensitivity, greater dynamic ranges, and the new method reduced carryover, which enabled us to eliminate extra injections and chromatogram reviews. The new method also reduced turnaround time and doubled testing capacity. These improvements could serve as a model for other laboratories approaching a similar transition in mass spectrometric instrumentation.

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Benzo[b]thiophene-2-carboxamides as novel opioid receptor agonists with potent analgesic effect and reduced constipation.

Currently, there is a significant unmet need for novel analgesics with fewer side effects. In this study, we carried out structural modification of a hit compound previously identified in an artificial-intelligence (AI) virtual screening and discovered the potent analgesic, benzo[b]thiophene-2-carboxamide analog (compound 25) with new structural scaffold. We investigated the signaling pathways of opioid receptors mediated by compound 25, and found this racemic compound activated mu-opioid receptor through the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and β-arrestin-2-mediated pathways with strong potency and efficacy, and accompanying nociceptin-orphanin FQ opioid peptide and delta-opioid receptors through the cAMP pathway with weak potencies. Compound 25 elicited potent antinociception in thermal-stimulated pain (ED value of 127.1 ± 34.65 μg/kg) and inflammatory-induced allodynia models with less gastrointestinal transit inhibition and antinociceptive tolerance than morphine. Overall, this study revealed a novel analgesic with reduced risks of side effects.

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Trajectories and correlates of opioid prescription receipt among patients experiencing interpersonal violence.

Interpersonal violence increases vulnerability to the deleterious effects of opioid use. Increased opioid prescription receipt is a major contributor to the opioid crisis; however, our understanding of prescription patterns and risk factors among those with a history of interpersonal violence remains elusive. This study sought to identify 5-year longitudinal patterns of opioid prescription receipt among patients experiencing interpersonal violence within a large healthcare system and sociodemographic and clinical characteristics associated with prescription patterns. This secondary analysis examined electronic health record data from January 2004-August 2019 for a cohort of patients (N = 1,587) referred for interpersonal violence services. Latent class growth analysis was used to estimate trajectories of opioid prescription receipt over a 5-year period. Standardized differences were calculated to assess variation in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics between classes. Our cohort had a high prevalence of prescription opioid receipt (73.3%) and underlying co-morbidities, including chronic pain (54.6%), substance use disorders (39.0%), and mental health diagnoses (76.9%). Six prescription opioid receipt classes emerged, characterized by probability of any prescription opioid receipt at the start and end of the study period (high, medium, low, never) and change in probability over time (increasing, decreasing, stable). Classes with the highest probability of prescription opioids also had the highest proportions of males, chronic pain diagnoses, substance use disorders, and mental health diagnoses. Black, non-Hispanic and Hispanic patients were more likely to be in low or no prescription opioid receipt classes. These findings highlight the importance of monitoring for synergistic co-morbidities when providing pain management and offering treatment that is trauma-informed, destigmatizing, and integrated into routine care.

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Human mesenchymal stromal cells release functional mitochondria in extracellular vesicles.

Cartilage and other skeletal soft tissues heal poorly after injury, in part due to their lack of vascularity and low metabolic rate. No pharmacologic approaches have proven effective in preventing chronic degenerative disease after joint injury. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have been investigated for their ability to treat pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA) and preserve articular cartilage. Limitations of MSCs include variability in cell phenotype, low engraftment and retention rates, and inconsistent clinical outcomes. Therefore, acellular biologic therapies such as extracellular vesicles (EVs) are currently being investigated. MSC-derived EVs have been found to replicate many of the therapeutic effects of their cells of origin, but the mechanisms driving this remain unclear. Recent evidence in non-orthopedic tissues suggests MSCs can rescue injured cells by donating mitochondria, restoring mitochondrial function in recipient cells, preserving cell viability, and promoting tissue repair. Our group hypothesized that MSCs package mitochondria for export into EVs, and that these so-called "mitoEVs" could provide a delivery strategy for cell-free mitochondria-targeted therapy. Therefore, the goals of this study were to: 1) characterize the vesicle fractions of the MSCs secretome with respect to mitochondrial cargoes, 2) determine if MSC-EVs contain functional mitochondria, and 3) determine if chondrocytes can take up MSC-derived mitoEVs. We isolated exosome, microvesicle, and vesicle-free fractions from MSC-conditioned media. Using a combination of dynamic light scattering and nanoparticle tracking, we determined that MSC-EV populations fall within the three size categories typically used to classify EVs (exosomes, microvesicles, apoptotic bodies). Fluorescent nanoparticle tracking, immunoblotting, and flow cytometry revealed that mitochondrial cargoes are abundant across all EV size populations, and mitoEVs are nearly ubiquitous among the largest EVs. Polarization staining indicated a subset of mitoEVs contain functional mitochondria. Finally, flow cytometry and fluorescent imaging confirmed uptake of mitoEVs by chondrocytes undergoing rotenone/antimycin-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. These data indicate that MSCs package intact, functional mitochondria into EVs, which can be transferred to chondrocytes in the absence of direct cell-cell interactions. This work suggests intercellular transfer of healthy MT to chondrocytes could represent a new, acellular approach to augment mitochondrial content and function in poorly-healing avascular skeletal soft tissues.

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Machine Learning Derived Lifting Techniques and Pain Self-Efficacy in People with Chronic Low Back Pain.

This paper proposes an innovative methodology for finding how many lifting techniques people with chronic low back pain (CLBP) can demonstrate with camera data collected from 115 participants. The system employs a feature extraction algorithm to calculate the knee, trunk and hip range of motion in the sagittal plane, Ward's method, a combination of K-means and Ensemble clustering method for classification algorithm, and Bayesian neural network to validate the result of Ward's method and the combination of K-means and Ensemble clustering method. The classification results and effect size show that Ward clustering is the optimal method where precision and recall percentages of all clusters are above 90, and the overall accuracy of the Bayesian Neural Network is 97.9%. The statistical analysis reported a significant difference in the range of motion of the knee, hip and trunk between each cluster, (9, 1136) = 195.67, < 0.0001. The results of this study suggest that there are four different lifting techniques in people with CLBP. Additionally, the results show that even though the clusters demonstrated similar pain levels, one of the clusters, which uses the least amount of trunk and the most knee movement, demonstrates the lowest pain self-efficacy.

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Fast and Sensitive HPLC-ESI-MS/MS Method for Etoricoxib Quantification in Human Plasma and Application to Bioequivalence Study.

Etoricoxib is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat pain and inflammation. The objective of the current study was to develop a sensitive, fast and high-throughput HPLC-ESI-MS/MS method to measure etoricoxib levels in human plasma using a one-step methanol protein precipitation technique. A tandem mass spectrometer equipped with an electrospray ionization (ESI) source operated in a positive mode and multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) were used for data collection. The quantitative MRM transition ions were 359.15 > 279.10 and 363.10 > 282.10 for etoricoxib and IS. The linear range was from 10.00 to 4000.39 ng/mL and the validation parameters were within the acceptance limits of the European Medicine Agency (EMA) and Food and Drug Analysis (FDA) guidelines. The present method was sensitive (10.00 ng/mL with S/N > 40), simple, selective (K prime > 2), and fast (short run time of 2 min), with negligible matrix effect and consistent recovery, suitable for high throughput analysis. The method was used to quantitate etoricoxib plasma concentrations in a bioequivalence study of two 120 mg etoricoxib formulations. Incurred sample reanalysis results further supported that the method was robust and reproducible.

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Efficacy of 2-Hydroxyflavanone in Rodent Models of Pain and Inflammation: Involvement of Opioidergic and GABAergic Anti-Nociceptive Mechanisms.

The current work examined the pharmacological potential of a selected flavanone derivative 2-hydroxyflavanone as a promising remedy for the treatment and management of pain. The selected flavanone derivative (2-HF) was evaluated for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory potentials following standard pharmacological protocols including hot plate, acetic acid-induced writhing and tail immersion tests. Naloxone and pentylenetetrazol were used to evaluate the potential implication of GABAergic and opioidergic mechanisms. The anti-inflammatory potential of 2-HF was confirmed using carrageenan-, serotonin- and histamine-induced paw edema models as well as a xylene-induced ear edema model. Furthermore, the anti-neuropathic potential of 2-HF was tested using a cisplatin-induced neuropathic pain model. Our sample, at the tested concentrations of 15, 30 and 45 mg kg, showed considerable analgesic, anti-inflammatory effects, as well as efficacy against neuropathic pain. Naloxone and pentylenetetrazol at 1 and 15 mg kg antagonized the anti-nociceptive activities of 2-hydroxyflavanone indicating the involvement of opioidergic and GABAergic mechanisms. In the static allodynia model, combination of gabapentin 75 mg kg with 2-HF at 15, 30, 45 mg kg doses exhibited considerable efficacy. In cold allodynia, 2-hydroxyflavanone, at doses of 15, 30 and 45 mg kg and in combination with gabapentin (75 mg kg), demonstrated prominent anti-allodynic effects. The paw withdrawal latency was considerably increased in gabapentin + cisplatin treated groups. Moreover, cisplatin + 2-hydroxyflavanone 15, 30, 45 mg kg showed increases in paw withdrawal latency. Likewise, considerable efficacy was observed for 2-hydroxyflavanone in thermal hyperalgesia and dynamic allodynia models. Our findings suggest that 2-hydroxyflavanone is a potential remedy for pain syndrome, possibly mediated through opioidergic and GABAergic mechanisms.

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Identification of a Partial and Selective TRPV1 Agonist CPIPC for Alleviation of Inflammatory Pain.

Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is a non-selective cation channel, predominantly expressed in a subset of peripheral sensory neurons for pain signaling. Topical application of agonist capsaicin for desensitizing TRPV1 currents has been approved for relief of chronic pain. However, the potent TRPV1 capsaicin is not ingestible and even topical capsaicin causes common side effects such as skin irritation, swelling, erythema and pruritus, suggesting that a mild TRPV1 agonist might be helpful for reducing side effects while reliving pain. In this study, we reported on a partial and selective TRPV1 agonist 4-(5-chloropyridin-2-yl)–(1-indazol-6-yl)piperazine-1-carboxamide named that was modified based on targeting the residue Arg557, important for conversion between the channel antagonism and agonism. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings indicated a concentration-dependent activation of TRPV1 currents by with an EC of 1.56 ± 0.13 μM. The maximum efficacy of (30 μM) was about 60% of saturated capsaicin (10 μM). Repetitive additions of caused TRPV1 current desensitization in both TRPV1-expressing HEK293 cells and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons. Oral administration of dose-dependently alleviated inflammatory pain in mice. Further site-directed mutagenesis combined with molecular docking revealed that residue Arg557 is critical for TRPV1 activation by . Taken together, we identified a novel partial and selective TRPV1 agonist that exhibits antinociceptive activity in mice.

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Challenges with Assessing and Treating Pain in Research Primates: A Focused Survey and Literature Review.

Research primates may undergo surgical procedures making effective pain management essential to ensure good animal welfare and unbiased scientific data. Adequate pain mitigation is dependent on whether veterinarians, technicians, researchers, and caregivers can recognize and assess pain, as well as the availability of efficacious therapeutics. A survey was conducted to evaluate primate veterinary approaches to pain assessment and alleviation, as well as expressed challenges for adequately managing primate pain. The survey ( = 93 respondents) collected information regarding institutional policies and procedures for pain recognition, methods used for pain relief, and perceived levels of confidence in primate pain assessment. Results indicated that 71% ( = 60) of respondents worked at institutions that were without formal experimental pain assessment policies. Pain assessment methods were consistent across respondents with the majority evaluating pain based on changes in general activity levels (100%, = 86) and food consumption (97%, = 84). Self-reported confidence in recognizing and managing pain ranged from slightly confident to highly confident, and there was a commonly expressed concern about the lack of objective pain assessment tools and science-based evidence regarding therapeutic recommendations of analgesics for research primates. These opinions correspond with significant gaps in the primate pain management literature, including limited specific pharmacokinetic data and efficacy testing for commonly used analgesics in research primate species as well as limited research on objective and specific measures of pain in research primates. These results demonstrate that there are inconsistencies in institutional policies and procedures surrounding pain management in research primates and a lack of objective pain assessment methods. Demonstrating the gaps and challenges in primate pain management can inform guideline development and suggest areas for future research.

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Anti-Inflammatory Action of Dexmedetomidine on Human Microglial Cells.

Neuroinflammation, where inflammatory cytokines are produced in excess, contributes to the pathogenesis of delirium. Microglial cells play a central role in neuroinflammation by producing and releasing inflammatory cytokines in response to infection, tissue damage and neurodegeneration. Dexmedetomidine (DEX) is a sedative, which reduces the incidence of delirium. Thus, we hypothesized that DEX may alleviate delirium by exhibiting anti-inflammatory action on microglia. In the present study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory action of DEX on human microglial HMC3 cells. The results indicated that DEX partially suppressed the IL-6 and IL-8 production by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated HMC3 cells as well as the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and IκB and the translocation of NF-κB. Furthermore, DEX substantially suppressed IL-6 and IL-8 production by unstimulated HMC3 cells as wells as the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and IκB and the translocation of NF-κB. These observations suggest that DEX exhibits anti-inflammatory action on not only LPS-stimulated but also unstimulated microglial cells via the suppression of inflammatory signaling and cytokine production.

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Critical Players and Therapeutic Targets in Chronic Itch.

Chronic itch is one of the most prominent clinical characteristics of diverse systematic diseases. It is a devastating sensation in pathological diseases. Despite its importance, there are no FDA-labelled drugs specifically geared toward chronic itch. The associated complex pathogenesis and diverse causes escalate chronic itch to being one of the top challenges in healthcare. Humanized antibodies against IL-13, IL-4, and IL-31 proved effective in treatment of itch-associated atopic dermatitis but remain to be validated in chronic itch. There are still no satisfactory anti-itch therapeutics available toward itch-related neuropeptides including GRP, BNP, SST, CGRP, and SP. The newly identified potential itch targets including OSM, NMB, glutamate, periostin, and Serpin E1 have opened new avenues for therapeutic development. Proof-of-principle studies have been successfully performed on antagonists against these proteins and their receptors in itch treatment in animal models. Their translational interventions in humans need to be evaluated. It is of great importance to summarize and compare the newly emerging knowledge on chronic itch and its pathways to promote the development of novel anti-itch therapeutics. The goal of this review is to analyze the different physiologies and pathophysiologies of itch mediators, whilst assessing their suitability as new targets and discussing future therapeutic development.

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The Acute Antiallodynic Effect of Tolperisone in Rat Neuropathic Pain and Evaluation of Its Mechanism of Action.

Current treatment approaches to manage neuropathic pain have a slow onset and their use is largely hampered by side-effects, thus there is a significant need for finding new medications. Tolperisone, a centrally acting muscle relaxant with a favorable side effect profile, has been reported to affect ion channels, which are targets for current first-line medications in neuropathic pain. Our aim was to explore its antinociceptive potency in rats developing neuropathic pain evoked by partial sciatic nerve ligation and the mechanisms involved. Acute oral tolperisone restores both the decreased paw pressure threshold and the elevated glutamate level in cerebrospinal fluid in neuropathic rats. These effects were comparable to those of pregabalin, a first-line medication in neuropathy. Tolperisone also inhibits release of glutamate from rat brain synaptosomes primarily by blockade of voltage-dependent sodium channels, although inhibition of calcium channels may also be involved at higher concentrations. However, pregabalin fails to affect glutamate release under our present conditions, indicating a different mechanism of action. These results lay the foundation of the avenue for repurposing tolperisone as an analgesic drug to relieve neuropathic pain.

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Synergism between metformin and analgesics/vitamin B in a model of painful diabetic neuropathy.

Metformin (a widely used antidiabetic drug) has demonstrated efficacy in models of painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN), as well as certain clinical efficacy in relieving/preventing PDN. This study aimed to determine the type of interaction between metformin and duloxetine/oxycodone/eslicarbazepine acetate [ESL]/vitamin B in relieving diabetic pain hypersensitivity. Antihyperalgesic efficacy was determined using a Von Frey apparatus in mice with streptozotocin-induced PDN. We examined metformin's efficacy following oral (acute and prolonged 7-day treatment) and local (spinal and peripheral) application. The examined analgesics were administered in a single oral dose, whereas vitamin B was intraperitoneally administered for 7 days. In combination experiments, metformin (prolonged treatment) and analgesics/vitamin B were co-administered in fixed-dose fractions of their ED values and the type of interaction was determined using isobolographic analysis. Metformin produced dose-dependent antihyperalgesic effects in diabetic mice after oral (acute and prolonged 7-day treatment) and local spinal/peripheral application. Two-drug metformin combinations with analgesics/vitamin B also dose-dependently reduced mechanical hyperalgesia. The isobolographic analysis revealed that metformin synergises with analgesics/vitamin B, with a 6-7 fold dose reduction of both drugs in the examined combinations. In conclusion, metformin reduces hyperalgesia in diabetic animals, most likely by acting at the spinal and peripheral level. Additionally, it synergizes with duloxetine/oxycodone/ESL/vitamin B in reducing hyperalgesia. Metformin co-treatment may increase analgesic efficacy and enable the use of lower (and potentially safer) analgesic doses for treating PDN. Combined metformin-vitamin B use may provide more effective pain relief and mitigate metformin-induced vitamin B deficiency.

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S-nitroso-L-cysteine stereoselectively blunts the adverse effects of morphine on breathing and arterial blood gas chemistry while promoting analgesia.

S-nitrosothiols exert multiple effects on neural processes in the central and peripheral nervous system. This study shows that intravenous infusion of S-nitroso-L-cysteine (SNO-L-CYS, 1 μmol/kg/min) in anesthetized male Sprague Dawley rats elicits (a) sustained increases in minute ventilation, via increases in frequency of breathing and tidal volume, (b) a decrease in Alveolar-arterial (A-a) gradient, thus improving alveolar gas-exchange, (c) concomitant changes in arterial blood-gas chemistry, such as an increase in pO and a decrease in pCO, (d) a decrease in mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), and (e) an increase in tail-flick (TF) latency (antinociception). Infusion of S-nitroso-D-cysteine (SNO-D-CYS, 1 μmol/kg/min, IV), did not elicit similar responses, except for a sustained decrease in MAP equivalent to that elicited by SNO-L-CYS. A bolus injection of morphine (2 mg/kg, IV) in rats receiving an infusion of vehicle elicited (a) sustained decreases in frequency of breathing tidal volume, and therefore minute ventilation, (b) a sustained decrease in MAP, (c) sustained decreases in pH, pO and maximal sO with sustained increases in pCO and A-a gradient, and (d) a sustained increase in TF latency. In rats receiving SNO-L-CYS infusion, morphine elicited markedly smaller changes in minute ventilation, arterial blood gas chemistry, A-a gradient and MAP. In contrast, the antinociceptive effects of morphine were enhanced in rats receiving the infusion of SNO-L-CYS. The morphine-induced responses in rats receiving SNO-D-CYS infusion were similar to vehicle-infused rats. These data are the first to demonstrate that infusion of an S-nitrosothiol, such as SNO-L-CYS, can stereoselectively ameliorate the adverse effects of morphine on breathing and alveolar gas exchange while promoting antinociception.

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The Design, Synthesis, and Evaluation of Novel 9-Arylxanthenedione-Based Allosteric Modulators for the δOpioid Receptor.

Chronic pain and depression are both widely prevalent comorbid medical conditions. While efficient, μ-opioid receptor-based medications are associated with life-threatening side effects, including respiratory depression, dependence, and addiction. The δ-opioid receptor is a promising alternative biological target for chronic pain and depression due to its significantly reduced on-target side effects compared to the μ-opioid receptor. A previous study identified two δ-opioid receptor positive allosteric modulators. Herein, we report the design of five series of compounds targeting previously unexplored regions of the originally described SAR. Analogs were assessed for their ability to potentiate the agonist response of Leu-enkephalin. Of the 30 analogs, compound displayed trends toward enhancing the ERK1/2 phosphorylation signaling compared to cAMP inhibition, while compound exhibited a trend in shifting the signaling bias toward cAMP inhibition. Both and emerged as promising tool compounds toward the design of prospective therapeutics requiring specific downstream signaling attributes.

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A systematic review and meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometric studies of migraine.

To comprehensively summarize and meta-analyze the concurrence across voxel-based morphometric (VBM) neuroimaging studies of migraine.

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Potential Unmet Needs in Acute Treatment of Migraine in Japan: Results of the OVERCOME (Japan) Study.

Using data from the ObserVational survey of the Epidemiology, tReatment, and Care Of MigrainE study in Japan (OVERCOME [Japan]), we describe the current status of the acute treatment of migraine in Japan.

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A possible mechanism for development of working memory impairment in male mice subjected to inflammatory pain.

We studied the effects of inflammatory pain on working memory and correlated the pain effects with changes in dendritic spine density and glutamate signaling in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of male and female mice. Injection of Complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA) into the hind paw modeled inflammatory pain. The CFA equally decreased the mechanical thresholds in both sexes. The density of dendritic spines, as a marker for neuronal input, increased on the dendrites of both, pyramidal cells and interneurons in males but only on the dendrites of interneurons in CFA injected females. Next, we injected virus with glutamate sensor (pAAV.hSyn.iGluSnFr) into the mPFC and used fiber photometry to record glutamate signaling during Y-maze spontaneous alternations test, which is a test for working memory in rodents. The detected fluorescent signal was higher during correct alternations when compared to incorrect alternations in both sexes. The CFA injection did not change the pattern of glutamate fluorescence during the test but the female mice made fewer incorrect alternations than their male counterparts. Furthermore, while the CFA injection decreased the expression of the glutamate transporter VGlut1 on the soma of mPFC neurons in both sexes, the decrease was sex dependent. We concluded that inflammatory pain, which increases sensory input into the mPFC neurons, may impair working memory by altering the glutamate signaling. The glutamate deficit that develops as a result of the pain is more pronounced in male mice in comparison to female mice.

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Predicting Depression in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis Using Machine Learning: Model Development and Validation Study.

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of OA and a leading cause of disability worldwide. Chronic pain and functional loss secondary to knee OA put patients at risk of developing depression, which can also impair their treatment response. However, no tools exist to assist clinicians in identifying patients at risk. Machine learning (ML) predictive models may offer a solution. We investigated whether ML models could predict the development of depression in patients with knee OA and examined which features are the most predictive.

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Cervicogenic headache, an easy diagnosis? A systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic studies.

The diagnosis of cervicogenic headache (CGH) remains a challenge for clinicians as the diagnostic value of detailed history and clinical findings remains unclear.

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An anti-inflammatory and low fermentable oligo, di, and monosaccharides and polyols diet improved patient reported outcomes in fibromyalgia: A randomized controlled trial.

Fibromyalgia (FM) has been associated with dysbiosis and low-grade inflammation. Studies have reported that diet influences clinical features in FM.

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EGR3 regulates opioid-related nociception and motivation in male rats.

Chronic pain can be a debilitating condition, leading to profound changes in nearly every aspect of life. However, the reliance on opioids such as oxycodone for pain management is thought to initiate dependence and addiction liability. The neurobiological intersection at which opioids relieve pain and possibly transition to addiction is poorly understood. Using RNA sequencing pathway analysis in rats with complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-induced chronic inflammation, we found that the transcriptional signatures in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC; a brain region where pain and reward signals integrate) elicited by CFA in combination with oxycodone differed from those elicited by CFA or oxycodone alone. However, the expression of Egr3 was augmented in all animals receiving oxycodone. Furthermore, virus-mediated overexpression of EGR3 in the mPFC increased mechanical pain relief but not the affective aspect of pain in animals receiving oxycodone, whereas pharmacological inhibition of EGR3 via NFAT attenuated mechanical pain relief. Egr3 overexpression also increased the motivation to obtain oxycodone infusions in a progressive ratio test without altering the acquisition or maintenance of oxycodone self-administration. Taken together, these data suggest that EGR3 in the mPFC is at the intersection of nociceptive and addictive-like behaviors.

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Effective Connectivity in Spinal Cord Injury-Induced Neuropathic Pain.

The aim of this study was to differentiate the effects of spinal cord injury (SCI) and central neuropathic pain (CNP) on effective connectivity during motor imagery of legs, where CNP is typically experienced.

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Clinical Management of Migraine.

Migraine is one of the most frequent neurological and vascular disorders, with an estimated global prevalence of 14 […].

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Use and efficacy of virtual, augmented, or mixed reality technology for chronic pain: a systematic review.

Characterize use and efficacy/effectiveness of virtual, augmented, or mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) technology as non-pharmacological therapy for chronic pain. Systematic search of 12 databases to identify empirical studies, of individuals who experience chronic pain or illness involving chronic pain, published between 1990 and 2021. JBI Critical Appraisal Checklists assessed study bias and a narrative synthesis was provided. 46 studies, investigating a total of 1456 participants and including 19 randomized controlled trials (RCT), were reviewed. VR/AR/MR was associated with improved pain-related outcomes in 78% of the RCTs. While most studies showed effects immediately or up to one month post treatment, RCTs are needed to further evaluate VR/AR/MR, establish long-term benefits, and assess accessibility, especially among individuals who experience pain management disparities.

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Effectiveness comparison of remote electrical neuromodulation and standard-care medications for acute treatment of chronic migraine: a analysis.

The current study compared the effectiveness of remote electrical neuromodulation (REN) to that of standard-care medications for acute treatments of migraine, using a within-subjects design. within-subject analysis was performed on data from 78 adult chronic migraine patients who participated in a clinical trial with REN, on four end points: single-treatment pain relief, single-treatment pain freedom, consistency of pain relief and consistency of pain freedom. No statistical differences were found between REN and the tested medications, in any of the effectiveness outcomes: single-treatment pain relief p = 0.056, single-treatment pain freedom p = 0.532, consistency of pain relief p = 0.369, consistency of pain freedom p = 1.00. The results suggest that REN may provide an effective non-pharmacological alternative for standard care abortive medications in individuals impacted by chronic migraine.

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The Role of Mental Health and Behavioral Disorders in the Development of Temporomandibular Disorder: A SWEREG-TMD Nationwide Case-Control Study.

There is a well-known association between mental and behavioral disorders (MBD) and temporomandibular disorder (TMD), although the association has not been established in population-based samples. This study aimed to investigate this relationship using national population-based registry data.

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Training-Induced Hypoalgesia and its Potential Underlying Mechanisms.

It is well-established that a single bout of exercise can reduce pain sensitivity (i.e., exercise-induced hypoalgesia) in healthy individuals. However, exercise-induced hypoalgesia is often impaired in individuals with chronic pain. This might suggest that repeated bouts of exercise (i.e., exercise training) are needed in order to induce a reduction in pain sensitivity (i.e., training-induced hypoalgesia) among individuals with chronic pain, given that a single bout of exercise seems to be insufficient to alter pain. However, the effect of repeated bouts of exercise on pain sensitivity and its underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Therefore, the purpose of this review was to provide an overview of the existing literature on training-induced hypoalgesia, as well as discuss potential mechanisms of training-induced hypoalgesia and offer considerations for future research. Existing literature suggests that training interventions may induce hypoalgesic adaptations potentially driven by central nervous system and immune system factors. However, the limited number of randomized controlled trials available, along with the lack of understanding of underlying mechanisms, provides a rationale for future research.

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Persistent sensory changes and sex differences in transgenic mice conditionally expressing HIV-1 Tat regulatory protein.

HIV-associated sensory neuropathies (HIV-SN) are prevalent in >50% of patients aged over 45 years many of which report moderate to severe chronic pain. Previous preclinical studies have investigated the mechanisms by which HIV-1 causes sensory neuropathies and pain-like behaviors. The aim of the present study is to delineate the role of chronic HIV-1 trans-activator of transcription protein (Tat) exposure in the development of neuropathy in mice. The temporal effects of conditional Tat expression on the development of hypersensitivity to mechanical (von Frey filaments) and thermal (heat or cold) stimuli were tested in male and female mice that transgenically expressed HIV-1 Tat in a doxycycline-inducible manner. Inducing Tat expression produced an allodynic response to mechanical or cold (but not heat) stimuli that respectively persisted for at least 23-weeks (mechanical hypersensitivity) or at least 8-weeks (cold hypersensitivity). Both allodynic states were greater in magnitude among females, compared to males, and mechanical increased hypersensitivity progressively in females over time. Acute morphine or gabapentin treatment partly attenuated allodynia in males, but not females. Irrespective of sex, Tat reduced intraepidermal nerve fiber density, the mean amplitude of sensory nerve action potentials (but not conductance), engagement in some pain-related ethological behaviors (cage-hanging and rearing), and down-regulated PPAR-α gene expression in lumbar spinal cord while upregulating TNF-α expression in dorsal root ganglion. Taken together, these data reveal fundamental sex differences in mechanical and cold hypersensitivity in response to Tat and demonstrate the intractable nature in female mice to current therapeutics. Understanding the role of Tat in these pathologies may aid the design of future therapies aimed at mitigating the peripheral sensory neuropathies that accompany neuroHIV.

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Effect of single end-range and not end-range Maitland mobilization on pressure pain threshold and functional measures in knee osteoarthritis: randomised, controlled clinical trial.

Hyperalgesia is attributed to peripheral and central sensitization in knee osteoarthritis (OA). Pressure pain threshold (PPT) is a relevant method for evaluating pain sensitivity in knee OA. The effect of end-range and not end-range Maitland mobilization for certain time-period on pain sensitivity has not been investigated in knee OA.

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National prevalence of IC/BPS in women and men utilizing veterans health administration data.

Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) is an immense burden to both patients and the American healthcare system; it is notoriously difficult to diagnose. Prevalence estimates vary widely (150-fold range in women and >500-fold range in men).

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Reliability and validity of the Japanese version of Pain Disability Index.

This study evaluated the reliability and validity of a Japanese version of Pain Disability Index (PDI). Analyses were conducted on a 7-item version (PDI-J) and a 5-item (PDI-5-J version of the PDI). Using a web-based survey system, we recruited 300 individuals with chronic low back pain (lasting ≥3 months) and 300 individuals with chronic daily headache (lasting ≥15 days per month for 3 months) aged 20-64 years. Analyses revealed a one-factor with goodness-of-fit indices assessed by confirmatory factor analysis. For concurrent validity, we calculated Pearson's correlation coefficients among the PDI-J, PDI-5-J, Pain Disability Assessment Scale, Pain numerical rating scale, and revised version of Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire. Internal consistency was evaluated by Cronbach's α, and test-retest reliability was assessed with intraclass correlations (ICCs) in 100 of 600 participants a week after the first response. Both Japanese adaptations of the PDI demonstrated good concurrent validity and reliability (Cronbach's α was 0.89 for PDI-J in chronic low back pain or chronic daily headache, and 0.94 and 0.93 for PDI-5-J in chronic low back pain and chronic daily headache, respectively). The PDI-J and PDI-5-J showed were highly correlated (r = 0.98). ICCs were 0.67 and 0.59 for the PDI-J and 0.59 and 0.63 for the PDI-5-J in chronic low back pain and chronic daily headache, respectively. In conclusion, these two PDI versions can be potentially used for evaluating pain-related interference with daily activities among the Japanese general population.

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The contribution of pain and disability on the transition from acute to chronic pain-related TMD: A 3-month prospective cohort study.

Although most cases of pain-related temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are mild and self-limiting, about 10% of TMD patients develop severe disorders associated with chronic pain and disability. It has been suggested that pain intensity contributes to the transition from acute to chronic pain-related TMD. Therefore, the aims of this current prospective cohort study were to assess if pain intensity, pain always being present, pain or stiffness on awakening, jaw activities, and interference, were associated with the transition from acute to chronic pain-related TMD at 3 months of follow-up. One hundred and nine participants, recruited from four clinics in Montreal and Ottawa, received examinations and completed the required instruments at baseline and at the 3rd month of follow-up. In a multivariable analysis including sex, age, characteristic pain index (CPI) (OR = 1.03, 95%CI = 1.01-1.06, = 0.005), moderate to severe average pain intensity (OR = 3.51, 95%CI = 1.24-9.93, = 0.02), disability points score (OR = 1.29, 95%CI = 1.06-1.57, = 0.01), interferences (ORs = 1.30-1.32, = 0.003-0.005), screening score (OR = 1.37, 95%CI = 1.08-1.76, = 0.01), and pain always present (OR = 2.55, 95%CI = 1.08-6.00, = 0.03) assessed at first-visit were related to the transition outcome at the 3rd month of follow-up. Further, we found that if 4 patients with acute pain-related TMD on average were exposed to these risk factors at baseline, 1 would have the transition from acute to chronic pain at 3 months of follow-up. Results indicate that these factors are associated with the transition from acute to chronic pain-related TMD, and therefore should be considered as important factors when evaluating and developing treatment plans for patients with pain-related TMD.

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Pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutic interventions for the treatment of spinal cord injury-induced pain.

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a complex neurophysiological disorder, which can result in many long-term complications including changes in mobility, bowel and bladder function, cardiovascular function, and metabolism. In addition, most individuals with SCI experience some form of chronic pain, with one-third of these individuals rating their pain as severe and unrelenting. SCI-induced chronic pain is considered to be "high impact" and broadly affects a number of outcome measures, including daily activity, physical and cognitive function, mood, sleep, and overall quality of life. The majority of SCI pain patients suffer from pain that emanates from regions located below the level of injury. This pain is often rated as the most severe and the underlying mechanisms involve injury-induced plasticity along the entire neuraxis and within the peripheral nervous system. Unfortunately, current therapies for SCI-induced chronic pain lack universal efficacy. Pharmacological treatments, such as opioids, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants, have been shown to have limited success in promoting pain relief. In addition, these treatments are accompanied by many adverse events and safety issues that compound existing functional deficits in the spinally injured, such as gastrointestinal motility and respiration. Non-pharmacological treatments are safer alternatives that can be specifically tailored to the individual and used in tandem with pharmacological therapies if needed. This review describes existing non-pharmacological therapies that have been used to treat SCI-induced pain in both preclinical models and clinical populations. These include physical (i.e., exercise, acupuncture, and hyper- or hypothermia treatments), psychological (i.e., meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy), and dietary interventions (i.e., ketogenic and anti-inflammatory diet). Findings on the effectiveness of these interventions in reducing SCI-induced pain and improving quality of life are discussed. Overall, although studies suggest non-pharmacological treatments could be beneficial in reducing SCI-induced chronic pain, further research is needed. Additionally, because chronic pain, including SCI pain, is complex and has both emotional and physiological components, treatment should be multidisciplinary in nature and ideally tailored specifically to the patient.

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Nociception monitors vs. standard practice for titration of opioid administration in general anesthesia: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Nociception monitors are being increasingly used during surgery, but their effectiveness in guiding intraoperative opioid administration is still uncertain. This meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) aimed to compare the effectiveness of nociception monitors vs. standard practice for opioid administration titration during general anesthesia.

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Intraoperative Methadone and Short Stay Spine Surgery: Possible Barriers to Implementation and Future Opportunities.

The frequency of shorter stay spine surgery is increasing. Acute pain is a common barrier to discharge following spine surgery. Long-acting opioid medications like methadone have the potential to provide sustained analgesia when given intraoperatively. Methadone has been effectively used in complex spine surgery, cardiac surgery, and more recently applied to ambulatory procedures. In this article, we summarize the pertinent available literature on the use of intraoperative methadone for spine surgery as well as the recent data on intraoperative methadone for ambulatory surgery. The aim of this perspectives article is to describe the potential opportunities for applying intraoperative methadone to shorter stay spine surgery as well as barriers to more widespread use. While there are currently no trials that have specifically studied methadone for shorter stay spine surgery specifically to date, it is a promising area for future research.

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Generation of GLA-knockout human embryonic stem cell lines to model peripheral neuropathy in Fabry disease.

Fabry disease is an X-linked glycolipid storage disorder caused by mutations in the gene which result in a deficiency in the lysosomal enzyme alpha galactosidase A (AGA). As a result, the glycolipid substrate Gb3 accumulates in critical tissues and organs producing a progressive debilitating disease. In Fabry disease up to 80% of patients experience life-long neuropathic pain that is difficult to treat and greatly affects their quality of life. The molecular mechanisms by which deficiency of AGA leads to neuropathic pain are not well understood, due in part to a lack of models that can be used to study the underlying pathology at the cellular level. Using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, we generated two clones with mutations in the gene from a human embryonic stem cell line. Our clonal cell lines maintained normal stem cell morphology and markers for pluripotency, and showed the phenotypic characteristics of Fabry disease including absent AGA activity and intracellular accumulation of Gb3. Mutations in the predicted locations in exon 1 of the gene were confirmed. Using established techniques for dual-SMAD inhibition/WNT activation, we were able to show that our AGA-deficient clones, as well as wild-type controls, could be differentiated to peripheral-type sensory neurons that express pain receptors. This genetically and physiologically relevant human model system offers a new and promising tool for investigating the cellular mechanisms of peripheral neuropathy in Fabry disease and may assist in the development of new therapeutic strategies to help lessen the burden of this disease.

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Initial experiences using plasma rich in growth factors to treat keratoneuralgia.

Keratoneuralgia, a clinical diagnosis of sensitized corneal pain without visible ocular surface damage, generally has minimal response to conventional therapies. Causes include refractive surgery and chronic dry eye. We evaluated the efficacy of Plasma Rich in Growth Factors (PRGF), a novel treatment prepared using a commercially available kit, in patients with keratoneuralgia. A retrospective chart review identified patients who had the clinical diagnosis of keratoneuralgia and were treated with PRGF for at least 3 months from October 2015 to April 2020 at a single academic institution. Both objective eye exam findings and concurrent treatments were obtained at baseline, 3 months, and final visit (if available). A questionnaire was administered to identified patients, including symptoms scores measured with a visual analog scale. The results of this survey and other objective findings were compared before and after PRGF treatment. 16 out of 32 patients (50%) with a mean follow-up period of 33 ± 26 months answered the questionnaire. Refractive surgeries were the cause of keratoneuralgia in 14 patients (87.5%), with LASIK the most common procedure (11 patients, 69%). There were no adverse events recorded or reported. Symptom scored by VAS in a modified Symptoms Assessment in Dry Eye questionnaire significantly decreased after PRGF use (85 ± 16 to 45 ± 33, = 0.0002). Ten patients (63%) reported PRGF is superior to other therapy and would recommend to others. There were no significant trends in visual acuity, objective exam findings, or concurrent treatments after PRGF treatment. PRGF is safe and can potentially alleviate symptoms in patients with keratoneuralgia, a rare but devastating complication after refractive surgery. Prospective trial is indicated to explore PRGF as a potentially useful treatment for keratoneuralgia.

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Association between sleep quality, migraine and migraine burden.

The relationship between sleep and migraine is well known to be bidirectional. However, few studies have systematically assessed the association between sleep quality and the risk of developing migraine, and its gender and age differences are unclear. And there is currently limited evidence on the associations between sleep quality and migraine-related burdens.

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Telerehabilitation proposal of mind-body technique for physical and psychological outcomes in patients with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome is characterized by the close correlation of chronic widespread pain and other non-pain related symptoms. Aim of this study was to investigate whether telerehabilitation that provides physical and psychological support services of the mind-body techniques can affect the clinical profile and pain relief of FM patients. The study included twenty-eight female FM patients, mean aged 56.61 ± 8.56 years. All patients underwent a rehabilitation treatment (8 sessions, 1/week, 1 h/each) through Zoom platform, with the following principles of rehabilitation treatment: Anchoring to a positive emotion; listen and perceive your "own" body; conscious breathing; improve interoceptive awareness; relax. All patients then underwent clinical assessment of the physical distress and fear of movement for the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS); the Fatigue Assessment Scale (FAS); the Fear Avoidance Belief Questionnaire (FABQ); with measures of physical and mental disability for the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ); the 12-Items Short Form Survey; the Resilience Scale for Adults and the Coping Strategies Questionnaire-Revised. The evaluations were performed at T0 (baseline), T1 (after 8 weeks of treatment), and T2 (after 1 month of follow-up). The main finding was that telerehabilitation reduced physical and mental distress, fear, and disability ( < 0.001). Resilience and coping ability were less affected by the rehabilitative treatment. Our attempt of mind-body technique telerehabilitation has shown good results in the improvement of painful symptoms and quality of life for the FM patients but showed fewer positive impacts for the resilience and coping abilities aspects.

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SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in patients with multiple sclerosis in Germany and the United Kingdom: Gender-specific results from a longitudinal observational study.

Vaccines offer people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) an effective protection against severe COVID-19 disease courses. However, representative real-world data on the tolerability of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in PwMS are limited. We aimed at analysing vaccination reactions (VRs) and MS deterioration following SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations in German and United Kingdom (UK) PwMS, especially regarding gender-specific differences.

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The short-term effects of opioid and non-opioid pharmacotherapies on sleep in people with chronic low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Chronic low back pain (LBP) shares a bidirectional relationship with sleep disturbance. Analgesics are often used for chronic LBP management however, the effects on sleep have not been thoroughly reviewed. This systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the effect of opioid and non-opioid medications on sleep in people with chronic LBP. Electronic databases were searched for randomized controlled trials which resulted in 16 eligible articles (14 studies). Sleep measures were secondary outcomes, with one study assessing sleep objectively and all other studies reporting subjective sleep. Twelve studies assessed opioid therapies whilst two studies examined non-opioid therapies. Eight studies (all opioid) were included in meta-analyses of sleep quality and sleep disturbance comparing opioid therapies with placebo-controls. Opioid therapies significantly improved sleep quality (SMD = 0.27, 95% CI: 0.17-0.36) and reduced sleep disturbance (SMD = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.25-0.40) compared to placebo-control. These findings show a clear improvement in subjective sleep associated with opioid therapies however, future studies should examine objective sleep outcomes which remain largely unexplored in chronic LBP. Addressing both pain and sleep together is important for effective management of comorbid conditions of chronic LBP and sleep disturbance due to their bidirectional relationship.

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Primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS)- related peripheral neuropathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) is a chronic, systemic, autoimmune disorder characterized by lymphocytic infiltrates of the exocrine organs, leading to sicca symptoms and parotid enlargement. pSS has been linked to various neurological manifestations, including peripheral neuropathy (PN). We aimed to provide a comprehensive analysis of the currently available evidence regarding pSS-related PN.

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Multi-level Pain Quantification using a Smartphone and Electrodermal Activity.

Appropriate prescription of pain medication is challenging because pain is difficult to quantify due to the subjectiveness of pain assessment. Currently, clinicians must entirely rely on pain scales based on patients' assessments. This has been alleged to be one of the causes of drug overdose and addiction, and a contributor to the opioid crisis. Therefore, there is an urgent unmet need for objective pain assessment. Furthermore, as pain can occur anytime and anywhere, ambulatory pain monitoring would be welcomed in practice. In our previous study, we developed electrodermal activity (EDA)-derived indices and implemented them in a smartphone application that can communicate via Bluetooth to an EDA wearable device. While we previously showed high accuracy for high-level pain detection, multi-level pain detection has not been demonstrated. In this paper, we tested our smartphone application with a multi-level pain-induced dataset. The dataset was collected from fifteen subjects who underwent four levels of pain-inducing electrical pulse (EP) stimuli. We then performed statistical analyses and machine-learning techniques to classify multiple pain levels. Significant differences were observed in our EDA-derived indices among no-pain, low-pain, and high-pain segments. A random forest classifier showed 62.6% for the balanced accuracy, and a random forest regressor exhibited 0.441 for the coefficient of determination. Clinical Relevance – This is one of the first studies to present a smartphone application for detecting multiple levels of pain in real time using an EDA wearable device. This work shows the feasibility of ambulatory pain monitoring which can potentially be useful for chronic pain management.

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Anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody improves allodynia and cognitive impairment in mice with neuropathic pain following partial sciatic nerve ligation.

Neuropathic pain caused by nerve injury presents with severe spontaneous pain and a range of comorbidities, including deficits in higher executive functioning, none of which are adequately treated with current analgesics. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a proinflammatory cytokine, is critically involved in the development and maintenance of central sensitization. However, the roles of IL-6 in neuropathic pain and related comorbidities have yet to be fully clarified. The present study examined the effect of MR16-1, an anti-IL-6 receptor antibody and inhibits IL-6 activity, on allodynia and cognitive impairment in mice with neuropathic pain following partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSNL). Significant upregulation of IL-6 expression was observed in the hippocampus in PSNL mice. Intranasal administration of MR16-1 significantly improved cognitive impairment but not allodynia in PSNL mice. Intranasal MR16-1 blocked PSNL-induced degenerative effects on hippocampal neurons. Intraperitoneal administration of MR16-1 suppressed allodynia but not cognitive impairment of PSNL mice. The findings suggest that cognitive impairment associated with neuropathic pain is mediated through changes in hippocampus induced by IL-6. These data also suggest that IL-6 mediated peripheral inflammation underlies allodynia, and IL-6 mediated inflammation in the central nervous system underlies cognitive impairment associated with neuropathic pain, and further suggest the therapeutic potential of blocking IL-6 functioning by blocking its receptor.

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Effects of Stem Cell Secretome on Opioid Receptors and Neuroplasticity in Cerebral Organoids.

Over 90% of Chronic pain (CP) patients receive opioids-based treatments which led to a public health crisis with lasting impacts on social and economic wellbeing based on opioid addiction. Opioids act through activation of μ (MOR), δ (DOR) and κ (KOR) opioid receptors which are broadly and differentially distributed throughout the brain. Chronic opioid consumption leads to brain changes such as alterations on neurotransmission, dendritic branching and spine density, as well as an increase in apoptosis. To overcome opioid-related issues, extensive efforts have been made to search for an alternative treatment. Bioactive molecules secreted by Stem Cells, collectively known as secretome, have shown a positive impact in different pain models. However, there is a lack of studies on the role of secretome in modulating opioid receptors. By using cerebral organoids (CeO), a self-organized, functional and multicellular 3D structure that resemble the brain, we were able to identify MOR, DOR and KOR at different stages of maturation. Treatment with secretome increased MOR expression highlighting a possible role in pain signaling mechanisms. Opioid treatments did not impact the expression of neuronal maturation markers but together with secretome, they increased astrogliogenesis. Opioid treated organoids presented higher dopamine secretion recapitulating an important physiological event after opioid exposure. This work demonstrates that CeO is an important model system for the study of opioid signaling with potential implications to the understanding of basic mechanisms related to pain physiology.

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Structure-Activity Relationship Development Efforts towards Peripherally Selective Analogs of the Cannabinoid Receptor Partial Agonist BAY 59-3074.

Selective modulation of peripheral cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) has potential therapeutic applications in medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, liver diseases, GI disorders and pain. While there have been considerable efforts to produce selective antagonists or full agonists of CBRs, there has been limited reports on the development of partial agonists. Partial agonists targeting peripheral CBRs may have desirable pharmacological profiles while not producing centrally mediated dissociative effects. Bayer reported that BAY 59-3074 is a CNS penetrant partial agonist of both CB1 and CB2 receptors with efficacy in rat models of neuropathic and inflammatory pain. In this report, we demonstrate our efforts to synthesize analogs that would favor peripheral selectivity, while maintaining partial agonism of CB1. Our efforts led to the identification of a novel compound, which is a partial agonist of the human CB1 (hCB1) receptor with vastly diminished brain exposure compared to BAY 59-3074.

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New and Upcoming Topical Treatments for Atopic Dermatitis: A Review of the Literature.

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory dermatosis with periods of exacerbation and remissions. AD is characterized by intense, persistent pruritus and heterogeneity in clinical symptomatology and severity. Therapeutic goals include the amelioration of cutaneous eruptions, diminishing relapses and eventually the disease burden. To date, topical corticosteroids (TCS) and calcineurin inhibitors (TCI) have yet been deemed the mainstay of topical treatments in AD management. Nevertheless, despite their indisputable efficiency, TCS and TCI are not indicated for continuous long-term use given their safety profile. While research in AD has concentrated predominantly on systemic therapies, more than 30 novel topical compounds are under development. The existing data appear encouraging, with some regimens that are already FDA-approved (ruxolitinib was the most recent in September 2021) and several pharmaceutical pipeline products for mild-to-moderate AD that are in an advanced stage of development, such as tapinarof, difamilast and roflumilast. Larger, long-term studies are still required to evaluate the efficacy and safety of these novel compounds in the long run and weigh their advantages over present treatments. In this review, we aim to provide an overview of the latest knowledge about AD topical treatments, echoing upcoming research trends.

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National Information Campaign Revealed Disease Characteristic and Burden in Adult Patients Suffering from Atopic Dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common inflammatory skin disease often associated with a significant impairment in the quality of life of affected patients. The Italian Society of Dermatology and Venereology (SIDeMaST) planned a national information campaign, providing direct access to 27 dermatologic centers dedicated to the management of AD. The aim of this study aimed was to outline critical aspects related to AD in the general population. Overall, 643 adult subjects were included in this study, and in 44.2% (284/643) of cases, a diagnosis of AD was confirmed, whereas about 55% of subjects were affected by other pruritic cutaneous diseases. Higher intensity of pruritus and sleep disturbance, as well as an increased interference in sport, work, and social confidence was reported in the AD group compared to the non-AD group. In the AD subgroup, the mean duration of disease was of 15.3 years, with a mean eczema area and severity index (EASI) score of 11.2, and investigator global assessment (IGA) score of 1.9 and an itch numeric rating scale (NRS) of 6.9. Almost 32% of patients were untreated, either with topical or systemic agents, whereas 44.3% used routine topical compounds (topical corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors), and only 7.0% of patients were systemically treated. Only 2.8% of patients reported complete satisfaction with the treatment received for AD to date. This study reveals a profound unmet need in AD, showing a poorly managed and undertreated patient population despite a high reported burden of disease. This suggests the usefulness of information campaigns with the goal of improving patient awareness regarding AD and facilitating early diagnosis and access to dedicated healthcare institutions.

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Migraine Prevention through Ketogenic Diet: More than Body Mass Composition Changes.

The ketogenic diet (KD) is gaining attention as a preventive treatment for migraine, which is sustained by many pre-clinical and clinical data. KD is also used for weight loss, and there is a relation between migraine and weight excess, but it is speculated that KD efficacy on migraine may go beyond this effect. We conducted a retrospective observational study on 23 migraine patients who received a KD and were evaluated at the baseline and then after 3 months both from a neurological and a nutritional point of view, including body mass composition analysis. We observed a reduction in monthly headache days (12.5 ± 9.5 vs. 6.7 ± 8.6; &lt; 0.001) and in days of acute medication intake (11.06 ± 9.37 vs. 4.93 ± 7.99; = 0.008). We also observed a reduction in patients' weight (73.8 ± 15.2 vs. 68.4 ± 14.6; &lt; 0.001) and BMI (26.9 ± 6.2 vs. 23.7 ± 8.1; &lt; 0.001) with a decrement of the fat mass (28.6 ± 12.5 vs. 20.6 ± 9.8; &lt; 0.001). Patients who responded to KD and those who did not had no differences with respect to weight or fat mass loss. These data corroborate the utilization of KD as a preventive treatment for migraine and suggest that the efficacy of such an intervention is not only due to weight or fat mass loss but probably relies on other mechanisms specific to KD.

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Pathophysiology and Therapy of Associated Features of Migraine.

Migraine is a complex and debilitating disorder that is broadly recognised by its characteristic headache. However, given the wide array of clinical presentations in migraineurs, the headache might not represent the main troublesome symptom and it can even go unnoticed. Understanding migraines exclusively as a pain process is simplistic and certainly hinders management. We describe the mechanisms behind some of the most disabling associated symptoms of migraine, including the relationship between the central and peripheral processes that take part in nausea, osmophobia, phonophobia, vertigo and allodynia. The rationale for the efficacy of the current therapeutic arsenal is also depicted in this article. The associated symptoms to migraine, apart from the painful component, are frequent, under-recognised and can be more deleterious than the headache itself. The clinical anamnesis of a headache patient should enquire about the associated symptoms, and treatment should be considered and individualised. Acknowledging the associated symptoms as a fundamental part of migraine has permitted a deeper and more coherent comprehension of the pathophysiology of migraine.

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Microfluidic Electroceuticals Platform for Therapeutic Strategies of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration: Effects of Electrical Stimulation on Human Nucleus Pulposus Cells under Inflammatory Conditions.

The degeneration of an intervertebral disc (IVD) is a major cause of lower back pain. IVD degeneration is characterized by the abnormal expression of inflammatory cytokines and matrix degradation enzymes secreted by IVD cells. In addition, macrophage-mediated inflammation is strongly associated with IVD degeneration. However, the precise pathomechanisms of macrophage-mediated inflammation in IVD are still unknown. In this study, we developed a microfluidic platform integrated with an electrical stimulation (ES) array to investigate macrophage-mediated inflammation in human nucleus pulposus (NP). This platform provides multiple cocultures of different cell types with ES. We observed macrophage-mediated inflammation and considerable migration properties via upregulated expression of interleukin (IL)-6 ( &lt; 0.001), IL-8 ( &lt; 0.05), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 ( &lt; 0.05), and MMP-3 ( &lt; 0.05) in human NP cells cocultured with macrophages. We also confirmed the inhibitory effects of ES at 10 μA due to the production of IL-6 ( &lt; 0.05) and IL-8 ( &lt; 0.01) under these conditions. Our findings indicate that ES positively affects degenerative inflammation in diverse diseases. Accordingly, the microfluidic electroceutical platform can serve as a degenerative IVD inflammation in vitro model and provide a therapeutic strategy for electroceuticals.

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Cross-Linked Hyaluronate and Corticosteroid Combination Ameliorate the Rat Experimental Tendinopathy through Anti-Senescent and -Apoptotic Effects.

The combination of cross-linked hyaluronate (cHA) and corticosteroid showed more rapid pain or functional improvement in knee osteoarthritis and adhesive capsulitis. However, rare evidence of this combination in treating tendinopathy has been reported. We hypothesized that the specific formulations of cHA and dexamethasone (DEX) conferred amelioration of tendinopathy via anti-apoptosis and anti-senescence. In this controlled laboratory study, primary tenocytes from the human tendinopathic long head of biceps were treated with three cHA formulations (cHA:linealized HA = 80:20, 50:50, and 20:80) + DEX with or without IL-1β stimulation. Cell viability, inflammatory cytokines, tendon-related proliferation markers, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), senescent markers, and apoptosis were examined. The in vivo therapeutic effects of the selected cHA + DEX combinations were evaluated in a collagenase-induced rat patellar tendinopathy model. The expression levels of inflammatory mediators, including IL-1β, IL-6, COX-2, MMP-1, and MMP-3 were significantly reduced in all cHA + DEX-treated tenocytes ( &lt; 0.05, all). The cHA (50:50) + DEX and cHA (20:80) + DEX combinations protected tenocytes from cytotoxicity, senescence, and apoptosis induced by DEX in either IL-1β stimulation or none. Furthermore, the two combinations significantly improved the rat experimental tendinopathy by reducing ultrasound feature scores and histological scores as well as the levels of apoptosis, senescence, and senescence-associated secretory phenotypes ( &lt; 0.05, all). We identified two specific cHA formulations (cHA (50:50) and cHA (20:80)) + DEX that could ameliorate tendinopathy through anti-senescence and -apoptosis without cytotoxicity. This study provides a possible approach to treating tendinopathy using the combination of two well-known agents.

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Capsaicin, its clinical significance in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetic neuropathy is a risk factor for developing complications such as autonomic cardiovascular disease, osteoarthropathy, foot ulcers, and infections, which may be the direct cause of death. Even worse, patients plagued by this condition display painful neuropathic symptoms that are usually severe and frequently lead to depression, anxiety, and sleep disarrays, eventually leading to a poor quality of life. There is a general interest in evaluating the therapeutic properties of topical capsaicin cream as an effective agent for pain relief in these patients. As such, the current review makes use of major search engines like PubMed and Google Scholar, to bring an updated analysis of clinical studies reporting on the therapeutic effects of capsaicin in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. In fact, most of the summarized literature indicates that topical capsaicin (0.075 %) cream, when applied to the painful areas for approximately 8 weeks, can reduce pain, which may lead to clinical improvements in walking, working, and sleeping in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. The current review also discusses essential information on capsaicin, including its source, bioavailability profile, as well as treatment doses and duration, to highlight its therapeutic potential.

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Chronic Pain after Colon Cancer Surgery: Translation and Validation of a Scoring System.

This study aims to translate and validate the chronic pain score (CP score) in a cohort of colon cancer patients.

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Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators as Resolution Pharmacology for the Control of Pain and Itch.

Specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs), including resolvins, protectins, and maresins, are endogenous lipid mediators that are synthesized from omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids during the acute phase or resolution phase of inflammation. Synthetic SPMs possess broad safety profiles and exhibit potent actions in resolving inflammation in preclinical models. Accumulating evidence in the past decade has demonstrated powerful analgesia of exogenous SPMs in rodent models of inflammatory, neuropathic, and cancer pain. Furthermore, endogenous SPMs are produced by sham surgery and neuromodulation (e.g., vagus nerve stimulation). SPMs produce their beneficial actions through multiple G protein-coupled receptors, expressed by immune cells, glial cells, and neurons. Notably, loss of SPM receptors impairs the resolution of pain. I also highlight the emerging role of SPMs in the control of itch. Pharmacological targeting of SPMs or SPM receptors has the potential to lead to novel therapeutics for pain and itch as emerging approaches in resolution pharmacology. Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 63 is January 2023. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

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Peristomal Skin Itch: An Integrative Review.

Survey data from the United Stated, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands indicate peristomal itch is prevalant among ostomy patients. Pruritus has a significant negative impact on health-related quality of life, resulting in discomfort and interrupted sleep. In ostomy patients, peristomal skin scratching also may interfere with adherence of the ostomy pouching system. This article reviews the classification and pathophysiology of itch in the peristomal skin, along with options for its management.

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Effect of Systemic Administration of Amitriptyline on Oral Microbes in Rats.

Amitriptyline is a major tricyclic antidepressant that is also used to relieve chronic orofacial pain. Recently, alterations in gut flora due to various antidepressants have been demonstrated. However, it remains unknown how antidepressants affect the oral environment, including microbiota and innate immunity. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of amitriptyline on oral microflora and antimicrobial peptides.

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Validity of the Central Sensitization Inventory compared with traditional measures of disease severity in fibromyalgia.

The goal of the present study was to explore additional evidence of convergent and discriminant validity of the Central Sensitization Inventory (CSI) in a large sample of subjects with fibromyalgia (FM).

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Serum CGRP in migraine patients using erenumab as preventive treatment.

Serum levels of Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP)-like immunoreactivity (CGRP-LI) in migraine patients before and after starting treatment with erenumab were measured to evaluate the association with clinical treatment response.

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Exercise therapy for chronic low back pain: Summary of a Cochrane review.

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Development of a prediction model to determine responders to conservative treatment in people with symptomatic hand osteoarthritis: A secondary analysis of a single-centre, randomised feasibility trial.

Conservative treatments are beneficial for people with hand osteoarthritis (OA).

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The contribution of autonomic mechanisms to pain in temporomandibular disorders: A narrative review.

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are diagnosed based on symptom presentation and, like other functional pain disorders, often lack definitive pathology. There is a strong association between elevated stress levels and the severity of TMD-related pain, which suggests that alterations in autonomic tone may contribute to this pain condition.

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Perspectives of Orthopedic Patients on Medical Cannabis: A Survey of More Than 2500 Patients.

Nationwide perspectives on cannabis have changed dramatically over recent decades. Although cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, medical cannabis (MC) is now legal in most states, and research has continued to show its effectiveness in a variety of medical conditions. However, both perception and acceptance of MC by the general public are evolving and remain poorly understood. Treating patients effectively with these novel therapeutics requires an understanding of the complex interplay of social and legal factors that could affect patient use. This cross-sectional survey study of more than 2500 patients sought to assess current patient perspectives on MC and to investigate factors related to its use that may represent barriers to broader patient use. Most respondents would consider using MC for chronic pain or other medical conditions. Most respondents were aware of the legal status of MC in their state, and 9 of 10 respondents believed that MC should be legal throughout the United States. General public knowledge of the utility of MC is an area needing improvement because older patients were significantly less likely to believe that MC is safe to use or that MC is safer than prescription opioids. As has been reported in previous literature, social stigma and cost appear to remain barriers for patient use of MC. Our findings provide further insight into current patient perspectives on MC, aiding both medical providers and researchers as we continue to provide access to and research MC. [. 20XX;XX(X):xx-xx.].

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Median sternotomy pain after cardiac surgery: To block, or not? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Inadequate pain control after median sternotomy leads to reduced mobilization, increased respiratory complications, and longer hospital stays. Typically, postoperative pain is controlled by opioid analgesics that may have several adverse effects. Parasternal intercostal block (PSB) has emerged as part of a multimodal strategy to control pain after median sternotomy. However, the effectiveness of this intervention on postoperative pain control and analgesic use has not been fully established.

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Effectiveness of onabotulinumtoxinA (BOTOX®) for the preventive treatment of chronic migraine: A meta-analysis on 10 years of real-world data.

This meta-analysis evaluated the real-world effectiveness of onabotulinumtoxinA (BOTOX®), the first preventive treatment FDA-approved specifically for chronic migraine in 2010.

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Upregulation of TACAN in the trigeminal ganglion affects pain transduction in acute pulpitis.

Acute pulpitis is one of the common causes of tooth pain. TACAN (Tmem120a) is a newly identified ion channel that senses mechanical pain. In this experiment, we studied the expression of the TACAN ion channel in the trigeminal ganglia in a rat model of pulpitis to explore the correlation between the expression of this ion channel and inflammatory pain.

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Is inpatient rehabilitation a predictor of a lower incidence of persistent knee pain 3-months following total knee replacement? A retrospective, observational study.

Moderate to severe levels of persistent knee pain have been estimated to affect up to 25% of people 3-months or more after a total knee replacement. It is unknown whether the type of rehabilitation pathway is associated with persistent high pain after surgery. Using a prospectively followed Australian cohort who underwent total knee replacement for knee osteoarthritis, this study aimed to i) report the incidence of high-intensity knee pain (defined as a score ≤ 15 on the Oxford Knee Score pain subscale) across time and ii) identify whether referral to inpatient rehabilitation was one of the predictors of persistent pain at 3-months post-surgery.

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Comparison of cytokine mediators in type 2 inflammatory conditions on the skin and ocular surface.

As the conjunctiva is embryologically modified skin, ocular surface involvement can be observed in several atopic skin diseases. The purpose of this review is to highlight and compare the roles of type 2 cytokines in the skin and ocular surface, and their resulting disorders.

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Intralesional collagenase for acute phase Peyronie’s disease: a single-center, retrospective cohort study.

Peyronie's disease (PD) can be subdivided into acute and chronic phases. Intralesional collagenase has been shown to improve curvature in the chronic phase. Initial clinical trials excluded patients in the acute phase from treatment. Recent studies show comparable results among men in the acute phase. The definition of acute phase varies among existing studies, but it is generally understood to last 12-18 months and is accompanied by penile pain and progression of deformity. We sought to evaluate the safety and efficacy of intralesional collagenase injection therapy during the acute phase of PD using multiple definitions of the acute phase.

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Kratom alkaloid mitragynine: Inhibition of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in mice is dependent on sex and active adrenergic and opioid receptors.

Mitragynine (MG) is an alkaloid found in (kratom) that is used as an herbal remedy for pain relief and opioid withdrawal. MG acts at μ-opioid and α-adrenergic receptors in vitro but the physiological relevance of this activity in the context of neuropathic pain remains unknown. The purpose of the present study was to characterize the effects of MG in a mouse model of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), and to investigate the potential impact of sex on MG's therapeutic efficacy. Inhibition of oxaliplatin-induced mechanical hypersensitivity was measured following intraperitoneal administration of MG. Both male and female C57BL/6J mice were used to characterize potential sex-differences in MG's therapeutic efficacy. Pharmacological mechanisms of MG were characterized through pretreatment with the opioid and adrenergic antagonists naltrexone, prazosin, yohimbine, and propranolol (1, 2.5, 5 mg/kg). Oxaliplatin produced significant mechanical allodynia of equal magnitude in both male and females, which was dose-dependently attenuated by repeated MG exposure. MG was more potent in males vs females, and the highest dose of MG (10 mg/kg) exhibited greater anti-allodynic efficacy in males. Mechanistically, activity at µ-opioid, α- and α-adrenergic receptors, but not β-adrenergic receptors contributed to the effects of MG against oxaliplatin-induced mechanical hypersensitivity. Repeated MG exposure significantly attenuated oxaliplatin-induced mechanical hypersensitivity with greater potency and efficacy in males, which has crucial implications in the context of individualized pain management. The opioid and adrenergic components of MG indicate that it shares pharmacological properties with clinical neuropathic pain treatments.

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Magnetic resonance imaging of endometriosis: a common but often hidden, missed, and misdiagnosed entity.

Endometriosis is a common benign and chronic inflammatory gynaecological disease due to functional endometrial glands and stroma in an ectopic location outside the uterine cavity. It affects 5-10% of reproductive age group women in the peak age of 24-29 years. However, women with infertility and chronic pelvic pain have an even greater prevalence, accounting for 30-50% and 90% of cases, respectively. Although it is a common entity, patients often get a delayed diagnosis because it is often subtle (hidden), missed, or confused with mimics, leading to misdiagnosis, which significantly affects patients' quality of life because they live in constant pain from undiagnosed endometriosis. Laparoscopy followed by histopathological confirmation is the gold standard for diagnosis, but it is an invasive procedure. MRI is an excellent non-invasive modality that helps in non-invasive diagnosis, with excellent delineation of the disease extent, and thus provides a presurgical mapping of the disease, which is helpful for the operating surgeon. Radiologists should be aware of all possible spectrum and diagnose this early and provide a detailed structured report mapping the entire extent of the disease process, which helps in effective treatment planning and successful outcomes in improving patients' quality of life.

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Negative impact of chronic pain: The role of locus of control and perceived family validation of chronic pain.

The present study investigates how participants' locus of control and their family and friends' validation of their pain influences participants' chronic pain experiences. Four thousand, 25 adults were recruited through the Chronic Pain In America survey. Results show that individuals who endorse an internal locus of control and experience family and friends' validation of their chronic pain reported better chronic pain outcomes and less negative life impact due to chronic pain. The current results indicate the locus of control and family and friends' validation of chronic pain experience plays an important role in chronic pain and the impact of chronic pain across the life course.

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Relative safety and efficacy of topical and oral NSAIDs in the treatment of osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Osteoarthritis (OA) often affects the hands, knees, and hip joints, causing considerable pain and disability, and often affecting the patient's quality of life. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are common pain relievers often applied as first line therapies for OA. However, prolonged NSAIDs application can have unwanted side effects. Given this, this study was designed to systematically evaluate the efficacy and safety of topical and oral NSAIDs for the treatment of OA.

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Identifying and Quantifying the Role of Inflammation in Pain Reduction for Patients With Psoriatic Arthritis Treated With Tofacitinib: A Mediation Analysis.

Pain is a multidimensional factor and core domain of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). This analysis aimed to quantify the role of potential inflammation-associated outcomes on pain reduction in patients with PsA receiving tofacitinib, using mediation modeling.

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Cannabinoid Therapeutics in orofacial pain management: A Systematic Review.

The objective of this paper is to investigate the published evidence regarding effects of cannabinoids (natural and synthetic) on post-operative and/or out-of-office pain management in patients suffering from orofacial pain that presents in the dental setting. Three online databases (Ovid (MEDLINE), PubMed (MEDLINE), Scopus) were searched (July 2021). Additional studies were sought through grey literature searching (Cochrane Library Trials and ClinicalTrials.gov) and hand-searching the reference lists of included articles. All studies that analysed cannabinoid products and pain management of conditions that present in the general or specialist dental setting in the English language were included. Of the five articles included, one reported a significant effect on temporomandibular disorder pain relief using a topical cannabidiol formulation compared to a placebo. Four articles reported no significant effects of cannabinoids for pain management across various orofacial pain conditions. Although one study reported a positive effect, insufficient evidence exists to support a tangible clinical benefit of cannabinoids in managing orofacial pain, further research is recommended to investigate the benefits of cannabinoids' use. © 2022 Australian Dental Association.

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Causal relationships of obesity on musculoskeletal chronic pain: A two-sample Mendelian randomization study.

The association between obesity and musculoskeletal chronic pain has attracted much attention these days; however, the causal relationship between them is uncertain. Hence, this study performed a Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis to investigate the causal effects of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) on knee pain, hip pain, and back pain.

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The effects of metformin in the treatment of osteoarthritis: Current perspectives.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic and irreversible disease of the locomotor system which is closely associated with advancing age. Pain and limited mobility frequently affect the quality of life in middle-aged and older adults. With a global population of more than 350 million, osteoarthritis is becoming a health threat alongside cancer and cardiovascular disease. It is challenging to find effective treatments to promote cartilage repair and slow down disease progression. Metformin is the first-line drug for patients with type 2 diabetes, and current perspectives suggest that it cannot only lower glucose but also has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. Experimental studies applying metformin for the treatment of osteoarthritis have received much attention in recent years. In our review, we first presented the history of metformin and the current status of osteoarthritis, followed by a brief review of the mechanism that metformin acts, involving AMPK-dependent and non-dependent pathways. Moreover, we concluded that metformin may be beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis by inhibiting inflammation, modulating autophagy, antagonizing oxidative stress, and reducing pain levels. Finally, we analyzed the relevant evidence from animal and human studies. The potential of metformin for the treatment of osteoarthritis deserves to be further explored.

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