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Genes and epigenetic processes as prospective pain targets

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
Number of pages10
JournalGenome medicine
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Published15 Feb 2013

King's Authors

Abstract

Chronic pain affects approximately one in five adults, resulting in a greatly reduced quality of life and a higher risk of developing co-morbidities such as depression. Available treatments often provide inadequate pain relief, but it is hoped that through deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying chronic pain states we can discover new and improved therapies. Although genetic research has flourished over the past decade and has identified many key genes in pain processing, the budding field of epigenetics promises to provide new insights and a more dynamic view of pain regulation. This review gives an overview of basic mechanisms and current therapies to treat pain, and discusses the clinical and preclinical evidence for the contribution of genetic and epigenetic factors, with a focus on how this knowledge can affect drug development.

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