Research progress of mechanisms and drug therapy for neuropathic pain

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Neuropathic pain is maladaptive pain caused by injury or dysfunction in peripheral and central nervous system, and remains a worldwide thorny problem leading to decreases in physical and mental quality of people's life. Currently, drug therapy is the main treatment regimen for resolving pain, while effective drugs are still unmet in medical need, and commonly used drugs such as anticonvulsants and antidepressants often make patients experience adverse drug reactions like dizziness, somnolence, severe headache, and high blood pressure. Thus, in this review we overview the anatomical physiology, underlying mechanisms of neuropathic pain to provide a better understanding in the initiation, development, maintenance, and modulation of this pervasive disease, and inspire research in the unclear mechanisms as well as potential targets. Furthermore, we summarized the existing drug therapies and new compounds that have shown antalgic effects in laboratory studies to be helpful for rational regimens in clinical treatment and promotion in novel drug discovery.Graphical abstract

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