Severe pain is a major health care problem, since almost 20%of the European population, actually, suffers from chronic orintermittent pain, that results in suffering and disability forpatients and increasing economic loss for society. Only 1/3 ofpatients receive pain relief from current analgesics, likeopiates, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, local anaesthetics,tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants, includingcarbamazepine and gabapentin. Therefore, it seemsnotable that recent developments in the understanding of themechanisms that, individually or collectively, produce painhave disclosed new potential therapeutic targets for thedevelopment of more effective drugs.During the last decade, Parghelia (Calabria, Italy), harbouredthe ‘Workshop on Apoptosis In Biology and Medicine’,which VIII edition (25th May 2005), gathered togetherscientists and PhD students to discuss the most recentadvances in neuroplasticity in pain and cell death.The main topic of this congress was the ‘nociceptivesystem’, involved in the conduction of pain stimuli from theperiphery to the brain. Today, it’s quite clear that, after tissueinjury or inflammation, plastic changes can take place in theperiphery, in the spinal cord and in higher brain centres, andthat neuroplasticity, as well as processes of cell death,contribute to pain perception and to the development andmaintenance of chronic pain syndromes.

Meeting Report - The crucial role of neuronal plasticity in pain and cell death
MT Corasaniti, D Amantea, R Russo and G Bagetta
Meeting report Workshop May 2005.pdf
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