Neuropathic Pain in Multiple Sclerosis – Current Therapeutic Intervention and Future Treatment Perspectives

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Kayla L. Murphy
John R. Bethea
Roman Fischer


Chronic pain is defined as any consistent pain lasting more than 12 weeks; chronic pain afflicts 25% of the world’s population. The most common form of chronic pain is chronic neuropathic pain, which affects around 8% of the general population and is defined as pain that is initiated or caused by a primary lesion or dysfunction of the nervous system. Neuropathic pain is commonly associated with a variety of neurodegenerative, metabolic, and autoimmune diseases. In multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic neuropathic pain is one of the most frequent symptoms that dramatically reduces the quality of life of MS patients. Current treatment strategies include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and cannabinoid drugs. However, the efficacy of these drugs varies between patients. Besides providing only insufficient relief of pain, these drugs also lead to severe side effects. Therefore, there is an unmet medical need to identify novel drug targets, which may lead to the development of novel therapeutics with enhanced tolerability profiles and efficacy for the management of MS-associated chronic neuropathic pain.


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Chapter 4