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Papers of the Week

Papers: 22 Aug 2020 - 28 Aug 2020

2020 Aug 20

Neurosci Lett

Mechanisms of small nerve fiber pathology.


Gross F, Üçeyler N
Neurosci Lett. 2020 Aug 20:135316.
PMID: 32828814.


Small fiber pathology is increasingly recognized as a potential contributor to neuropathic pain in different clinical syndromes, however, the underlying mechanisms leading to nociceptor sensitization and degeneration are unclear. With the diversity in clinical pain phenotypes and etiology of small fiber pathology, individual mechanisms are assumed, but are not yet fully understood. The thinly-myelinated Aδ- and unmyelinated C-nerve fibers are mainly affected and clinically require special small fiber test methods to capture functional, morphological, and electrophysiological alterations. Several methods have been established and implemented in clinical practice in the last years. In parallel, experimental and in vitro test systems have been developed allowing important insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying nociceptor sensitization and degeneration as main hallmarks of small fiber pathology. In our narrative review we focus on these methods and current knowledge, and provide a synopsis of the achievements made so far in this exciting field.