Mechanisms of occurrence and chronicity of neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis in clinical and experimental conditions

February 4, 2022
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a multifaceted, complex chronic neurological disease that leads to motor, sensory and cognitive impairment. The symptoms of MS are unpredictable and extremely variable. Pain is a frequent symptom of MS and is manifested by nociceptive or neuropathic pain (NP), even in the early stages of the disease. MS is one of the most debilitating symptoms that reduces the quality of life and interferes with daily activities, especially because conventional pharmacotherapeutic drugs do not adequately alleviate NP. Despite the achievements, the mechanisms underlying NP in MS remain unclear. Most studies examining the pathophysiology of NP associated with MS have been performed on experimental animal models that reproduce some of the clinical and neuropathological features of MS. Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) is one of the most studied and most frequently used experimental models of MS. As in patients with MS, rodents affected by EAE have an increased sensitivity to pain, which can be assessed using well-proven tests. EAE studies have provided valuable information on the pathophysiology of NP. However, further research is needed to better understand the events that lead to and maintain NP in order to identify targets that may contribute to the development of more effective therapeutic interventions. The aim of this article is to review several mechanisms associated with NP in MS and EAE by summarizing published literature data.

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