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Papers of the Week

Papers: 28 May 2022 - 3 Jun 2022

2022 May 17

Brain Sci



Quantum Mechanical Aspects in the Pathophysiology of Neuropathic Pain.


Nawafleh S, Qaswal A B, Alali O, Zayed F M, Al-Azzam A M, Al-Kharouf K, Ali M'ath B, Albliwi M A, Al-Hamarsheh R, Iswaid M, Albanna A, Enjadat A, Al-Adwan M A O, Dibbeh K, Shareah E-A A, Hamdan A, Suleiman A
Brain Sci. 2022 May 17; 12(5).
PMID: 35625044.


Neuropathic pain is a challenging complaint for patients and clinicians since there are no effective agents available to get satisfactory outcomes even though the pharmacological agents target reasonable pathophysiological mechanisms. This may indicate that other aspects in these mechanisms should be unveiled to comprehend the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain and thus find more effective treatments. Therefore, in the present study, several mechanisms are chosen to be reconsidered in the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain from a quantum mechanical perspective. The mathematical model of the ions quantum tunneling model is used to provide quantum aspects in the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain. Three major pathophysiological mechanisms are revisited in the context of the quantum tunneling model. These include: (1) the depolarized membrane potential of neurons; (2) the cross-talk or the ephaptic coupling between the neurons; and (3) the spontaneous neuronal activity and the emergence of ectopic action potentials. We will show mathematically that the quantum tunneling model can predict the occurrence of neuronal membrane depolarization attributed to the quantum tunneling current of sodium ions. Moreover, the probability of inducing an ectopic action potential in the axons of neurons will be calculated and will be shown to be significant and influential. These ectopic action potentials are generated due to the formation of quantum synapses which are assumed to be the mechanism behind the ephaptic transmission. Furthermore, the spontaneous neuronal activity and the emergence of ectopic action potentials independently from any adjacent stimulated neurons are predicted to occur according to the quantum tunneling model. All these quantum mechanical aspects contribute to the overall hyperexcitability of the neurons and to the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain. Additionally, providing a new perspective in the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain may improve our understanding of how the neuropathic pain is generated and maintained and may offer new effective agents that can improve the overall clinical outcomes of the patients.