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Papers of the Week

Papers: 22 Jun 2024 - 28 Jun 2024

2024 Jun 09

Brain Sci




A Narrative Review of the Dorsal Root Ganglia and Spinal Cord Mechanisms of Action of Neuromodulation Therapies in Neuropathic Pain.


da Silva MDV, Martelossi-Cebinelli G, Yaekashi KM, Carvalho TT, Borghi SM, Casagrande R, Verri WA


Neuropathic pain arises from injuries to the nervous system in diseases such as diabetes, infections, toxicity, and traumas. The underlying mechanism of neuropathic pain involves peripheral and central pathological modifications. Peripheral mechanisms entail nerve damage, leading to neuronal hypersensitivity and ectopic action potentials. Central sensitization involves a neuropathological process with increased responsiveness of the nociceptive neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) to their normal or subthreshold input due to persistent stimuli, leading to sustained electrical discharge, synaptic plasticity, and aberrant processing in the CNS. Current treatments, both pharmacological and non-pharmacological, aim to alleviate symptoms but often face challenges due to the complexity of neuropathic pain. Neuromodulation is emerging as an important therapeutic approach for the treatment of neuropathic pain in patients unresponsive to common therapies, by promoting the normalization of neuronal and/or glial activity and by targeting cerebral cortical regions, spinal cord, dorsal root ganglia, and nerve endings. Having a better understanding of the efficacy, adverse events and applicability of neuromodulation through pre-clinical studies is of great importance. Unveiling the mechanisms and characteristics of neuromodulation to manage neuropathic pain is essential to understand how to use it. In the present article, we review the current understanding supporting dorsal root ganglia and spinal cord neuromodulation as a therapeutic approach for neuropathic pain.