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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Mar 2023 - 17 Mar 2023



Neuropathic Pain

2023 Mar 13

Biomed Pharmacother



The mechanistic basis for the effects of electroacupuncture on neuropathic pain within the central nervous system.


Zhou M, Zhang Q, Huo M, Song H, Chang H, Cao J, Fang Y, Zhang D


Nociceptive signaling responses to painful stimuli are transmitted to the central nervous system (CNS) from the afferent nerves of the periphery through a series of neurotransmitters and associated signaling mechanisms. Electroacupuncture (EA) is a pain management strategy that is widely used, with clinical evidence suggesting that a frequency of 2-10 Hz is better able to suppress neuropathic pain in comparison to higher frequencies such as 100 Hz. While EA is widely recognized as a viable approach to alleviating neuralgia, the mechanistic basis underlying such analgesic activity remains poorly understood. The present review offers an overview of current research pertaining to the mechanisms whereby EA can alleviate neuropathic pain in the CNS, with a particular focus on the serotonin/norepinephrine, endogenous opioid, endogenous cannabinoid, amino acid neurotransmitter, and purinergic pathways. Moreover, the corresponding neurotransmitters, neuromodulatory compounds, neuropeptides, and associated receptors that shape these responses are discussed. Together, this review seeks to provide a robust foundation for further studies of the EA-mediated alleviation of neuropathic pain.