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Peripheral and Central Pain Pathways and Pathophysiology 

Peripheral and Central Pain Pathways and Pathophysiology
Chapter:
Peripheral and Central Pain Pathways and Pathophysiology
Source:
Mayo Clinic Neurology Board Review
Author(s):

Eduardo E. Benarroch

, James C. Watson

, and Kelly D. Flemming

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190214883.003.0004

Pain is an unpleasant sensory experience that may be associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Perception of pain includes the sensory-discriminative (intensity and location), cognitive (bodily sensation), and affective-emotional (suffering) aspects. Pain is a complex integration of anatomic pathways, including dorsal root ganglion (DRG) nociceptive neurons, dorsal horn neurons, spinothalamic and spinobulbar pathways, the thalamus, the cortex, and local modulation. Peripheral and central sensitization may occur after tissue injury. This chapter reviews the peripheral and central processing of pain and concludes with discussion of pain pathophysiology.

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