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Neuromodulators and Therapeutic Targets in Neuropathic Pain: From Molecules to Man

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Neuropathic pain is a phenomenon characterized by a high population prevalence by possessing several etiologies. In contrast to nociceptive pain, painful signals in neuropathic pain are originated in the nervous system, present poor responses to conventional treatments and may worsen the quality of life. Antiepileptic drugs are increasingly used for different purposes including migraine, neuropathic pain, tremor or psychiatric disorders and they have started to be called neuromodulators. These drugs may act on very different targets such as sodium, potassium or calcium channels, purinergic, GABAergic, glutamatergic or vanilloid receptors and different cytokines including IL-6 or TNF, each if which may be important in managing some aspects of neuropathic pain. Antiepileptic drugs have demonstrated effectiveness in the treatment of this pathology, and owing to the important development of these drugs in the last years, they may become a very effective tool. On the other hand, the increasing knowledge of the pathophysiology of nociception is leading to new channels and receptors as potential targets for treatment. In this paper we try to review the different potential therapeutic targets and role of antiepileptic drugs in the treatment of this pathology.

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Keywords: Antiepileptic; gabapentin pregabalin; neuromodulator; neuropathic pain; oxcarbacepine; topiramate; zonisamide

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2009

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  • CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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