Role of the central nervous system in processing pain stimuli and perspectives of pharmacological intervention

  • E. Masoero
  • L. Favalli
  • S. Govoni
Part of the Topics in Anaesthesia and Critical Care book series (TIACC)


Pain, perceivable through conscious integration of nociceptive stimuli, is classified into somatic pain, characterized by intense and localized sharp sensation, and visceral pain, characterized by diffuse, deep and slow–in–onset painful sensation. Based on the current knowledge, the proposal of the existence of a single central pain centre has to be rejected due to the complexity of the systems that modulate pain transmission. It is worth considering that each cerebral area perceives as pain signals received from alterations in the peripheral region on which it exerts its own control (objective sensation). Moreover, affective and emotional components play an important role in pain perception (subjective sensation).


Opioid Receptor Dorsal Horn NMDA Antagonist Spinal Dorsal Horn Pain Transmission 
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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag Italia, Milano 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Masoero
  • L. Favalli
  • S. Govoni

There are no affiliations available

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