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The milestone effect of DNIC in our understanding of pain 

The milestone effect of DNIC in our understanding of pain
The milestone effect of DNIC in our understanding of pain

Serge Marchand

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date: 27 October 2021

While thousands of articles are published each year on pain, only a few have such a major impact on the understanding of pain mechanisms as the landmark paper discussed in this chapter; published by Le Bars and colleagues in 1979, it introduced the concept of diffuse noxious inhibitory control (DNIC; also called diffuse noxious inhibition) mechanisms. Although this work is more than three decades old, it still has a major influence on both the understanding of pain mechanisms and the development of clinical approaches. It is known that apparently similar pain may be caused by different mechanisms: one may be caused by amplified excitatory mechanisms while the other may be related to a deficit of endogenous pain modulation, such as DNIC or conditioned pain modulation (or CPM); these will not respond to the same treatment. The work by Le Bars and colleagues provided a new understanding of mechanisms underlying pain.

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