✍️ Author: Dr Eleni Christoforidou
🕒 Approximate reading time: 5 minutes
Chronic pain, a persisting and often debilitating condition, impacts millions worldwide. One of the emerging focal points in understanding its intricacies is neuroinflammation – the brain's inflammatory response. How does this link to enduring pain?
Neuroinflammation refers to the inflammatory process within the brain and spinal cord. Triggered by a variety of factors such as injury, infection, or toxins, it's marked by the activation of brain-resident immune cells called microglia.
While acute inflammation is a natural protective response, problems arise when this inflammation becomes prolonged. Chronic neuroinflammation can lead to neural damage and is implicated in a variety of neurological diseases, including chronic pain syndromes.
Several studies have shown that neuroinflammation plays a pivotal role in the development and maintenance of chronic pain:
Addressing neuroinflammation could offer novel strategies to tackle chronic pain:
While the link between neuroinflammation and chronic pain is becoming clearer, more research is essential. This includes identifying precise molecular pathways and testing potential interventions in diverse populations.
Neuroinflammation presents both a challenge and an opportunity in the realm of chronic pain. By delving deeper into its role, we may pave the way for more effective, targeted therapies, bringing relief to countless sufferers.