Show Summary Details
Page of

Early Evidence of Central Nervous System Control and a Conceptual Model Revisited 

Early Evidence of Central Nervous System Control and a Conceptual Model Revisited
Early Evidence of Central Nervous System Control and a Conceptual Model Revisited

Kenneth L. Casey

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 08 August 2020

As the International Association for the Study of Pain was organized, neurobiological evidence supported the concept that central nervous system (CNS) activity strongly modulates pain. Descending corticospinal and corticobulbar neurons far outnumber those comprising the ascending spinothalamic and trigeminothalamic pathways, emphasizing “top-down” influences. The intensity of individual neuronal responses to noxious stimuli were known to be strongly affected by levels of behavioral alertness. Behavioral studies showed that electrical current applied within the upper brainstem eliminated any evidence of pain without obviously affecting motor function or other behaviors. Neurophysiological studies showed that electrical stimulation within various CNS locations could amplify or attenuate both presynaptic and postsynaptic neuronal sensory responses to nociceptive inputs at their entry to the spinal cord and brainstem. Biochemical and neuropharmacological experiments revealed endogenous opioid compounds and their receptors within several CNS locations. Collectively, these findings increased interest in pain neurobiology, accelerated the pace of pain research, and emphasized the importance of CNS control mechanisms as determinants of pain experience.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.