- Brain Awareness Week
Understanding persistent pain mechanisms
Pain management after surgery is one aspect of difficult to control acute pain. Because most pain models have not translated well to human postoperative pain, we have developed rodent models of postoperative pain undertaking a translational approach to acute pain mechanisms. Our focus is on mechanisms for peripheral and central sensitization caused by incisions.
Our more recent efforts have been aimed toward determining the role of particular pain transmitting substances like lactic acid and nerve growth factor in our experimental incisions. We are using a variety of techniques to assay these pain mediators that may activate or sensitize nociceptors in several tissues. Primary afferent fiber recordings using in vitro skin nerve preparations indicate unique mechanisms for primary afferent sensitization. Mediators measured in vivo that may contribute to sensitization will be studied in vitro. Further studies using knockout mice will examine pain related behaviors and sensitization using in vitro recording techniques.