Pain Research: Methods and Protocols

The detrimental impacts of pain on the quality of our daily life have drawn increasing attention from researchers, health care providers, policymakers, and social workers. The reality of effective painkillers specifically designed for different types of pain states has been obscured by missing knowledge of the mechanisms of different types of pain. Thus, studying the complexity of pain transduction, which includes various insults to the peripheral nervous systems, sensitized spinal circuits, and altered signals ascending to or descending from the brain, has emerged as a high priority task on the agenda of pharmaceutical companies and other private as well as public agencies. To accomplish this mission, one requires a combination of well-integrated systems, such as a- mal models resembling the pathological conditions of pain transduction, and an understanding of the interactions among pain transducers and mediators at the molecular level. Thanks to rapid advancements in the development of novel cellular and molecular biology techniques, as well as in our understanding of physiology, and of the behavioral pharmacology of pain transduction, the time is now ripe for dissecting the molecular mechanisms of pain transduction using multidisciplinary approaches. Indeed, my acceptance of the invitation from the series editor, Dr. John Walker, to assemble a book of methods and protocols for pain research was inspired by these emerging needs. The purpose of Pain Research: Methods and Protocols is to provide st- by-step methods and protocols of multidisciplinary approaches related to the study of pain transduction.