Current Pain and Headache Reports (Curr Pain Headache Rep)

Publisher: Current Medicine Group

Journal description

The Current Reports journals were developed out of the recognition that specialists have increasing difficulty keeping up to date with the expanding volume of information published in their fields. Current Pain and Headache Reports provides in a systematic manner: 1. the views of experts on current advances in pain and headache in a clear and readable form; 2. selections of the most important papers from the great wealth of original publications, annotated by experts.

RG Journal Impact: 3.05 *

*This value is calculated using ResearchGate data and is based on average citation counts from work published in this journal. The data used in the calculation may not be exhaustive.

RG Journal impact history

2019Available summer 2020

RG Journal impact over time

RG Journal impact
RG Journal impact over timeGraph showing a linear path with a yearly representation of impact points of the journal

Additional details

Cited half-life5.10
Immediacy index0.42
Article influencedata not available
Website descriptionCurrent Pain and Headache Reports website
Other titlesCurrent headache reports
Material typePeriodical
Document typeJournal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

Indomethacin-responsive headache syndromes represent a unique group of primary headache disorders characterized by a prompt and often complete response to indomethacin to the exclusion of other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and medications usually effective in treating other primary headache disorders. Because these headache disorders can easily be overlooked in clinical practice, they likely are more common than previously recognized. Indomethacin-responsive headache syndromes can be divided into several distinct categories: a select group of trigeminal-autonomic cephalgias, valsalva-induced headaches, and primary stabbing headache (ice-pick headache or jabs and jolts syndrome). Each category can be differentiated clinically and by the extent to which the individual headache disorders respond to indomethacin. The paroxysmal and continuous hemicranias invariably respond in an absolute manner to indomethacin, whereas valsalva-induced and ice-pick headaches may respond in an equally dramatic, but somewhat less consistent fashion. Hypnic headache recently has been described as another primary headache disorder that may respond to indomethacin.
Internal carotid artery (ICA) and vertebral artery (VA) dissections are among the common causes of stroke in middle-aged and young adults. The spectrum of clinical presentations of these dissections is broad. Many patients, especially those with ICA dissections, may never develop a stroke.
Myofascial pain disorder can originate from various muscles in the body. Numerous therapeutic approaches have been used to treat myofascial pain syndrome with varying success. Botulinum toxin neurolysis may become an important treatment regimen because it sustains relaxation of muscles. There is a growing body of clinical evidence for the efficacy of botulinum toxin in the treatment of painful myofascial conditions. The conditions that have been investigated include chronic low back pain, chronic cervical-associated headache, myofascial pain, myofascial pain syndrome and pain from chronic muscle spasm, and refractory myofascial pain. One of these studies was an open-label, exploratory pilot study into the cervicothoracic and lumbosacral regions using a novel injection technique.
Tension-type headache (TTH) is the most prevalent form of primary headache in the general population. In this article, the diagnostic challenges of TTH are discussed. The classification of these headaches according to the second edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-2) and the main differences between the ICHD-2 and the first edition of the classification (ICHD-1, 1988) are discussed. The typical features of TTH also are highlighted. Finally, the differential diagnosis of episodic and chronic TTH, emphasizing the situations more likely to raise doubts, is discussed. The wide clinical spectrum of TTH frequently challenges the physician's diagnostic acumen. A structured approach to the patient and a better comprehension of this variability of presentation should translate into better quality of care and a more specific diagnosis for TTH sufferers.
This study was conducted to compare the efficacy of intravenous diphenhydramine with dihydroergotamine mesylate (DHE-45; Novartis International AG, Switzerland) in the treatment of severe, refractory, migraine headache. A retrospective review was conducted to include eighty randomly chosen patients who were admitted to the Michigan Head Pain & Neurological Institute's inpatient program at Chelsea Community Hospital. Patients had received nine doses of diphenhydramine or nine doses of DHE-45 during a 3-day period. Patients receiving DHE-45 also received metoclopramide (Reglan; AH Robins Company, Inc., Richmond, VA) as prophylaxis for nausea. Demographics, headache diagnosis, psychiatric discharge diagnoses, abortive medications, and adverse events were recorded and assessed.
Tremendous progress has been made in the study and treatment of pain in the past two decades. The growing problem of prescription drug abuse has forced the field to take a new look at opioid prescribing and to seek balance between its risks and benefits. Every pain clinician must become better acquainted with the principles of addiction medicine as they apply to pain management. The assessment of aberrant behaviors in patients with chronic pain is one key aspect of mastering these principles.
With an increased knowledge of neural anatomy and technologic improvement, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) became an often-used technique for the pain control over an extended time period. Today, RFA is used safely for spinal pains of facet or discogenic origin, sympathetically maintained pain, and other pains of neural origin.
Cervicogenic headache is becoming an accepted clinical syndrome in which headache pain is thought to originate from the cervical spine. Unfortunately, there are no diagnostic imaging techniques of the cervical spine and associated structures that can determine the exact source of pain. Therefore, diagnosis and treatment are based on the major accepted criteria of clinical presentation and the use of diagnostic nerve blocks to identify the source of the pain generator before considering further interventional or neuroablative treatment. This suggests that consistent reproducible anatomic and neurophysiologic pathways exist for the reproduction of typical clinical pain patterns and the ability of neuroblockade to consistently interrupt these pain pathways. This article describes the essential anatomy required to understand the use of diagnostic nerve blocks, and their predictive value in anticipating response to neuroablative and interventional therapy with a review of the major interventional, anesthetic, and ablative techniques for cervicogenic headache.
Opioid analgesics are effective for treating many pain conditions. Opioid analgesic tolerance is a pharmacologic phenomenon that could affect the clinical use of opioid analgesics. Recent studies have shown that neural plasticity associated with the development of opioid tolerance may activate a pronociceptive mechanism that could counteract the analgesic effects of opioids. Thus, exposure to opioids could lead to two seemingly unrelated cellular processes (ie, the development of opioid tolerance and opioid-induced pain sensitivity). Their converging effects may be part of the mechanisms leading to the reduced opioid analgesic efficacy in chronic opioid therapy.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder of unknown etiology characterized by chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain and symptoms such as fatigue, poor sleep, gastrointestinal complaints, and psychologic problems that are similar to those experienced by patients with hormone deficiencies. This review summarizes the available data on the neuroendocrine function in fibromyalgia, including data on hormone secretion, circadian phase, and autonomic nervous system function. Studies suggest that there may be lower activity of a number of hypothalamic-pituitary-peripheral gland axes and altered autonomic nervous system function in patients with fibromyalgia. These reductions in activity are mild to moderate and do not result from alterations in circadian rhythms. The reduced hormonal and autonomic responses appear to reflect an impairment in the hypothalamic or central nervous system response to stimuli rather than a primary defect at the level of the pituitary gland or the peripheral glands. A combination of multiple, mild impaired responses may lead to more profound physiologic and clinical consequences as compared with a defect in only one system, and could contribute to the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
The frequent use (> 15 times/month) of medication for the treatment of acute migraine attacks may cause medication overuse headache. This kind of headache can be caused by the intake of combination analgesics, opioids, ergot alkaloids, and triptans. The delay between first intake and daily headache is shortest for triptans (1 to 2 years), longer for ergots (3 years), and longest for analgesics (5 years). Treatment includes drug withdrawal followed by structured acute therapy and initiation of migraine prophylactic treatment.
To our patients, their families, and treatment providers who may not be headache specialists, chronic daily headache (CDH) would appear to refer to headache disorders marked by the presence of daily pain over an extended period of time. To the headache specialist, in contrast, CDH represents a family of headache disorders in which pain occurs from 15 to 30 days each month [1], now reflected in the International Headache Society (IHS) criteria for chronic migraine (CM) or chronic tension-type headache [2]. The IHS classification does not distinguish between daily CM and intermittent CM marked by at least some pain-free days [3]. Research studies and clinical reports of the diagnostic entities subsumed under CDH often include patients with pain-free days and those with true daily pain.
It is estimated that 40% to 50% of patients with metastatic disease and 90% of patients with terminal cancer experience unrelieved pain. Furthermore, inadequate treatment of cancer pain is a greater possibility if the patient is a substance abuser. In this paper, we will explore pertinent conceptual and clinical aspects of addiction that can assist in improving the identification and treatment of patients with substance use disorders.
Cluster headache is an episodic form of primary neurovascular headache that is both severe and relatively rare. It is characterized by episodes of headache with cranial parasympathetic activation and sympathetic impairment that come in bouts, or clusters. Its pathophysiology can be divided into understanding the attack phenotype and the biotype of the periodicity. Acute attacks of cluster headache are marked by trigeminal nerve-mediated pain and with cranial autonomic activation, trigeminal-autonomic cephalalgia; an activation that characterizes the phenotype of a group of headaches. The signature feature of cluster headache is its periodicity, the daily cycle of attacks when the patient is in an active bout, or the circumannual, or other period, cycling that distinguishes the on period from the off period. Functional brain imaging with positron emission tomography and structural imaging with voxel-based morphometry have identified an area in the posterior hypothalamic gray as key in understanding cluster headache. This area is subtly enlarged in its gray matter volume, active during an acute cluster headache but inactive when patients are challenged between bouts. Cluster headache is likely to be a form of primary neurovascular pain whose phenotypic expression relies on the trigeminal-autonomic reflex, with a biotype determined by the brain area, the posterior hypothalamus, in which the lesion seems to be located. Understanding both the phenotypic expression and the biotype will, respectively, enable better acute attack treatments and better preventative management of this horrible form of headache.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic, painful musculoskeletal syndrome of unknown etiopathogenesis. In addition to medicamentous and physical and psychologic therapies, several other adjunct therapies have been used as alternatives in the attempt to obtain analgesia and decrease the symptoms that are characteristic of this problem. This article presents a literary review on the use of acupuncture as an adjunct or chief treatment for patients with fibromyalgia, comparing it with an ongoing clinical experience that has been carried out at Hospital das Clínicas in the city of São Paulo. The results were found by applying traditional acupuncture, which demonstrated positive rates in the Visual Analogue Scale, myalgic index, number of tender points, and improvement in quality of life based on the SF-36 questionnaire.
As the acupuncture nomenclature permeates medical literature, the artificial barriers to integration of acupuncture and allopathic medicine are disappearing. More patients are looking to their physicians for guidance on how to incorporate acupuncture into their health care, and pain physicians are accepting the challenge. Similar to allopathic medicine, acupuncture is an intricate diagnostic and therapeutic system. However, for practicing physicians, mastery of the skills necessary for safe and effective treatment of many conditions is well within reach. Used in an integrated medical model, acupuncture is well suited to deal with many of the functional problems that allopathic medicine is not equipped to address. The result is patient and physician satisfaction.
Acupuncture encompasses a host of healing techniques that have been practiced for more than 2000 years. Many different techniques and styles are in use in the West. The scientific study of acupuncture regarding its effectiveness has proven to be problematic and definitive studies are few. This is partly because of the difficulty in studying a dynamic, patient-centered system whose practice paradigms often are artificially limited by the application of a reductionist methodology, which is dictated by the standards of scientific enquiry. However, acupuncture, unlike many indigent medical practices in the world, has withstood the test of time in China and in the West, with many practitioners and patients reporting real benefits for the conditions of headache and myofascial pain when treated by acupuncture. This review provides a brief overview of acupuncture and what is known of its effectiveness in treating headache and myofascial pain.
There now is one realized and several attractive targets for the treatment of acute attacks of migraine that will follow and augment the use of serotonin 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonists, the triptans. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor blockade recently has been shown to be an effective acute antimigraine strategy; therefore, blockade of CGRP release by inhibition of trigeminal nerves would seem a logical approach. A number of targets are reviewed in this article including serotonin 5-HT1F and 5-HT1D receptors, adenosine A1 receptors, nociceptin, vanilloid TRPV1 receptors, and anandamide CB1 receptors. Development of one or more such compound offers the exciting prospect of new non-vasoconstrictor treatments for migraine and cluster headache.
Local anesthetics and opioids were among the earliest pharmacologic agents used for intrathecal injection. Side-effect profiles have limited the use of additional agents and, after a century of clinical use, local anesthetics and opioids remain the most widely used intrathecal or epidural medications.
The introduction of triptans (5-HT (1B/1D) agonists) into clinical practice has expanded the therapeutic options for doctors treating migraine sufferers. The triptans are available in several different formulations such as conventional oral tablets, orally disintegrating wafers, subcutaneous injections, nasal sprays, and suppositories, which provide an excellent opportunity to tailor therapy to individual patients' needs. Although the oral formulations are the most popular with patients, they are not the most appropriate route of administration for drug delivery during the migraine attack. Due to gastrointestinal dysmotility, the intestinal absorption of any triptan administered orally may be impaired and treatment effects become inconsistent. For this reason, triptans preferably should be prescribed in a non-oral formulation (injection, nasal spray, or suppository). Parenteral administration of a triptan is more likely to provide relief of symptoms, even when it is used later in the course of the migraine attack.
This article describes the current and investigational agents for use in the treatment of acute pain. The use of spinal and epidural routes also are discussed.
Chronic low back pain is one of the most common ailments in modern medicine, with as many as 79% of patients with acute pain continuing to suffer with chronic or recurrent low back pain 1 year after its onset. Lumbar epidural fibrosis and post-lumbar laminectomy syndrome are increasingly recognized as being responsible for persistent low back pain. Estimations show that approximately 5% to 40% of lumbar surgeries result in failed back surgery syndrome. Epidural adhesiolysis with myeloscopy is an interventional technique based on the premise that the three-dimensional visualization of the contents of the epidural space provides the physician with the ability to directly visualize the structures, perform appropriate adhesiolysis, and administer drugs specifically to the target. This review describes pathophysiologic aspects, purposes and goals, rationale and indications, complications, and effectiveness of epidural lysis of adhesions with myeloscopy.
Migraine is a chronic disorder that can be debilitating, especially when the attacks are severe and frequent. Children and adolescents are significantly affected. The prevalence of migraine in this age group is higher than predicted due to more recognition of the disease in this population throughout the past century. Severe chronic migraine can cause failure in academic work and may lead to depression. Multiple medications are used to break an acute attack. Most approaches are based on outpatient treatments and include the use of over-the-counter medications and triptans and narcotics. This manuscript reviews most of the available therapies for acute treatment of primary headache that did not respond to outpatient management.
Although tension-type headache is at least as prevalent as migraine in children and adolescents, in contrast to migraine, childhood tension-type headache has received limited research attention. Follow-up studies have shown that migraine may reverse in tension-type headache and vice versa. In addition, children with frequent episodic tension-type headache may be at increased risk of chronic tension-type headache. It is very important to recognize these children and to intervene. Further studies are needed to clarify the pathophysiology of pediatric tension-type headache.
Chronic daily headache is a significant problem in children and adolescents. The goal of this review is to paint a picture of this malady. The epidemiology is unclear because definitions have not been uniform. Classification systems reflect what is known in adults. Because the disease duration and the transformation period are so different in children with this disorder, shoehorning children into adult criteria may be problematic. Nevertheless, this article presents an approach to diagnosis and treatment based on what is present in the literature, what has worked with adults, and the consensus among pediatric headache practitioners. Because there is little literature on this subject, the review ends with a series of questions for future study.
Chronic daily headaches in children and adolescents appear to have been increasing throughout the past few decades. The diagnosis, classification, treatment, and long-term prognosis continue to be poorly understood. Recent epidemiologic studies and updated classifications have been done in this area, but further work is needed to help these children.
Chronic daily headache (CDH), an almost continual headache in the absence of organic pathology, is an exceptionally challenging type of headache to treat in children and adolescents. CDH has different expressions in children and adults; the different expressions may reflect several different etiologies or a developmental continuum. Although a positive family history predisposes children to develop headache, many environmental, biological, and psychological processes may share a role in the etiology. To date, no studies have examined the pathophysiology of CDH in children so that our understanding is presumed, rather than documented, and based primarily on extrapolation from adult studies. For some cases with migraine features, presumed mechanisms include a neurogenic inflammatory cascade, vascular reactivity, and serotonin, whereas for other cases, mechanisms may include pericranial muscle tenderness or musculoskeletal abnormalities, as noted recently for adults. A skilled and careful history is the first step to ensuring an accurate diagnosis for children with CDH. Pain assessment is an integral component of diagnosis and treatment. We need an objective measure of headache activity and an understanding of the factors that cause or exacerbate headaches for an individual child. Although many drug and nondrug therapies are available for treating children's headache, we lack data about which therapies are best for children with CDH or its subtypes. The current principles guiding our management of CDH in children and adolescents are extrapolated from the existing literature on childhood headache, CDH in adults, and our clinical experience. A child-centered focus is particularly important in the treatment of CDH because it is not caused by an underlying disease or disorder.
Pain is a feared component of cancer for a patient. The patient's prior experience with cancer pain will affect how he or she deals with ongoing and acute onset new pain. Radiation therapy has been and continues to be a major component in the management of cancer pain. New technologies are rapidly becoming available that will allow more specific and accurate targeting, while limiting the dose that is received by normal tissues and thus minimizing the potential for tissue toxicity. How new techniques and technologies are incorporated into the management of cancer pain will require a better understanding of the disease process being treated.
Opioid therapy for pain is the subject of numerous randomized clinical trials. Opioids are being developed for delivery by a wide variety of mechanisms. New opioids are becoming available for clinical use. This review surveys recent developments in these clinical trials and provides an overview of what may be expected in the near future for opioid management of pain.
In the past three decades, radiofrequency neurotomy (RFN) has been established as a safe and effective treatment for facet and sacroiliac arthropathy. However, early reports of deafferentation pain syndromes and motor deficit with the application of radiofrequency lesions to other neural structures effectively halted further development of this technology for other applications until recent years. Pulsed radiofrequency neurotomy (PRFN) represents the most recent advance in radiofrequency technology in clinical practice. PRFN allows for application of radiofrequency current at markedly lower tissue temperatures, thereby minimizing the risk of adverse events. The initial clinical data on PRFN demonstrate response rates similar to conventional high temperature RFN lesions for facet and sacroiliac arthropathy and a host of other chronic pain disorders.
Malignant bowel obstruction continues to be a difficult problem for patients with abdominal and pelvic primary tumors and tumors originating in other sites. The main treatment options consist of surgery, stenting, and pharmacotherapy. Despite recent advances, the impact of available treatment modalities on symptom control, longevity, quality of life, and associated health care costs have not been evaluated rigorously. This article reviews the available data and suggests an approach to the management of this challenging patient population.
Control of malignant pain and related symptoms is paramount to clinical success in caring for cancer patients. To achieve the best quality of life for patients and families, oncologists and palliative care clinicians must work together to understand problems related to psychologic, social, and spiritual pain. Pain is the primary problem targeted for control using the World Health Organization's (WHO) analgesic ladder. This article focuses on increased knowledge of analgesic action that may enable expansion of the WHO analgesic ladder to fulfill the broader objectives of palliative medicine. We discuss clinical experience with several classes of drugs that are currently used to treat cancer pain: 1) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with emphasis on cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors; 2) opioid analgesics, with specific emphasis on methadone and its newly recognized value in cancer pain; 3) ketamine, an antagonist at N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors; and 4) bisphosphonates, used for pain resulting from bone metastases. New concepts that compare molecular actions of morphine at excitatory opioid receptors, and methadone at nonopioid receptor systems, are presented to underscore the importance of balancing central nervous system excitatory (anti-analgesic) versus inhibitory (analgesic) influences.
Temporal arteritis was first described in the late nineteenth century. Despite considerable progress in understanding the disease, its rarity in the young and in those who are not of Scandinavian ethnicity remains unexplained. Microbiologic agents and immunologic mechanisms have been implicated as causative factors. Although steroids remain the drug of choice, the use of other immunologic therapies has been proposed. This paper reviews the disease's history, probable etiologies, clinical manifestations, and its diagnostic and treatment challenges.
Approaches to acute and prophylactic migraine and headache treatment are evolving as our understanding of some of the underlying pathophysiology improves. This article focuses on the emerging use of medications originally introduced for the treatment of seizures (anticonvulsants) as primary therapy for eradicating or reducing migraine and chronic daily headaches. A more accurate term for their pharmacologic mechanisms, if they are used to treat headaches and pain disorders, is neuromodulating or neuronal stabilizing agents. This term refers to their many cellular actions to reduce pain transmission supraspinally, in the spinal cord, and in the brainstem.
Pain produced by musculoskeletal disorders commonly misconceived as having mechanical etiology often is caused by inflammatory mechanisms. Simple analgesics (ie, those that lack anti-inflammatory action) often are used to treat musculoskeletal pain when an anti-inflammatory analgesic may be more effective for the painful condition. This review addresses the anti-inflammatory agents available for the symptomatic management of common inflammatory musculoskeletal conditions including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and low back pain.
Butalbital compounds are of proven efficacy in the treatment of tension headache. Decades of experience have established their value in the treatment of other mild-to-moderate headaches. Untold numbers of people rely on these medications as their drug of choice or use them when vasoconstrictors, opioids, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents are contraindicated. The medications are cost-effective with only occasional and minor immediate adverse effects. Their overuse may cause the evolution of episodic primary headaches to chronic daily headaches; however, removal of these agents from the market would reduce the chronic daily headache in the general population by a small fraction of 1%.
Chronic widespread pain is a primary feature of fibromyalgia and is a symptom that is poorly managed in many patients. In addition, patients often experience fatigue, sleep disturbances, and anxiety. Its etiology is largely unknown. The successful clinical management of this syndrome relies on a multidisciplinary approach, employing pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments. Clinical evidence on the symptoms and characteristics of fibromyalgia suggests a central mechanism behind the pathogenesis of this syndrome. It is likely that drugs with central actions will prove to be effective against a number of symptoms. This article aims to outline some of the potential spinal pharmacologic targets that may be used to treat this condition.
This article discusses topical intranasal medications in the treatment of cluster headache.
Unlike systemic analgesics, topical analgesics exert their analgesic activity locally and without significant systemic absorption. This is in contrast to transdermal analgesics, which require systemic absorption for clinical benefit. The mechanism of action of a particular topical analgesic is unique to the specific medication being used as a topical analgesic. Topical analgesics have been studied in an increasing number of painful clinical conditions, and the results of some of these studies are summarized in this article. The potential role of topical analgesics acting peripherally in affecting the central processing of pain as well as painful states considered to be "central," not "peripheral," also are reviewed.
Perioperative pain management has drastically evolved over the years to satisfy current unmet needs. Intermittent delivery of drugs has been replaced by continuous delivery systems involving oral, neuraxial, and peripheral nerve block routes of administration. One current standard of perioperative pain management is an epidural injection of an opioid such as morphine, fentanyl, or hydromorphone, with or without the addition of a local anesthetic, such as bupivacaine. Although this method is extremely effective in controlling pain during the most critical 48-hour period postoperatively, it also has its disadvantages. Risks associated with indwelling epidural catheters include infection, adverse effects, and spinal hematoma. The development of extended- and controlled-release drug delivery systems has revolutionized perioperative pain management. This class of drugs comprises MS Contin (Purdue Pharma LP, Stamford, CT), OxyContin (Purdue Pharma LP), Opana ER (Endo Pharmaceuticals, Chadds Ford, PA), and DepoDur (Endo Pharmaceuticals). There are also phase II trials in progress examining controlled-release formulations of local anesthetics. This review discusses extended- and controlled-release agents administered perioperatively.
Human parvovirus B19 infection has been associated with various clinical manifestations of a rheumatic nature such as arthritis, fatigue, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which can persist for years after the acute phase. The authors have demonstrated recently that acute B19 infection is accompanied by raised circulating levels of IL-1b, IL-6, TNF-a, and IFN-g and that raised circulating levels of TNF-a and IFN-g persist and are accompanied by MCP-1 in those patients who develop CFS. A resolution of clinical symptoms and cytokine dysregulation after intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy, which is the only specific treatment for parvovirus B19 infection, also has been reported. Although CFS may be caused by various microbial and other triggers, that triggered by B19 virus is clinically indistinguishable from idiopathic CFS and exhibits similar cytokine abnormalities and may represent an accessible model for the study of CFS.
AIDS and AIDS-treatment neuropathies are common in individuals infected with HIV. As patients live longer due to improved antiretroviral therapies, the impact of painful neuropathy on patients' lives may increase. Several antiretroviral medications are known to cause toxic neuropathy in patients with AIDS, but this may be outweighed by the beneficial effects of viral suppression. Current theories on the pathogenesis of AIDS neuropathies include mitochondrial toxicity secondary to gamma-DNA polymerase inhibition and subsequent abnormal mitochondrial DNA synthesis. Treatment of AIDS neuropathies is directed toward relief of symptoms; however, new evidence suggests that aggressive antiretroviral therapy may also be effective.
The paradigm of early treatment of the migraine attack at mild pain intensity has become one alternative to circumventing the problem of compromised oral absorption of symptomatic drugs due to migraine-induced gastrointestinal dysmotility. Early treatment also has been proposed to be advantageous because most migraineurs could be less responsive to delayed treatment, owing to the development of central sensitization of the trigeminal pain transmission. Ranking the underlying principles, it seems that the improved response to an oral triptan formulation at mild migraine symptom intensity has more to do with less impaired gastrointestinal absorption in the early stage of the attack than decreasing the time and preventing chances for central sensitization and development of cutaneous allodynia. Furthermore, parenteral administration of a triptan is always more likely to provide relief of symptoms than conventional tablets, even when it is used later in the course of the migraine attack. Individually tailored use of the available triptan formulations will increase, without any doubt, the within-migraineur consistency of response. It also will reduce the overall proportion of migraine attacks or migraineurs not responding to triptan treatment. Notwithstanding, the recommendation of early treatment during the migraine attack when the pain is mild remains valid.
Migraine is a common disorder that often is accompanied by cutaneous allodynia. Cutaneous allodynia on the head has been linked to sensitization of neurons in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis in animal models of migraine. In addition, migraine with allodynia is refractory to acute treatment with triptans. Understanding the mechanisms of allodynia, preventing its development, and finding effective treatments have become a priority in headache research. This paper reviews recent research on the pathogenesis of headache and the generation of allodynia. We discuss the regions of the nervous system that are involved in generating and maintaining headache pain and allodynia. We also discuss recent advances in the treatment of migraine based on translation research.
Treatment of tension-type headache remains very challenging. In addition to conventional therapies, alternative methods such as physical therapy, acupuncture, and botulinum toxin have been studied. In this article, recent literature is reviewed and discussed and challenges for the evaluation of these approaches are considered. Although the clinical evidence is still incomplete, certain treatments are promising and the active ongoing research hopefully will soon yield more answers. Of note, the specific issue of psychologic therapy is dealt with elsewhere in this issue.
Cancer pain is progressive and complex. The multidimensional character of cancer pain requires comprehensive management by a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals. Pharmacotherapy is a cornerstone of cancer pain management. Pharmacists who are engaged in ambulatory cancer pain management can play a pivotal role in the pharmacotherapy of cancer pain by optimizing medication therapy, monitoring outcomes, enhancing adherence through patient education regarding drug use, pain and symptom control, educating other health professionals and students, and conducting research. To fully meet the therapeutic challenges of cancer pain, pharmacists need to improve their knowledge and attitudes about cancer pain and pain medications.
A greater understanding of the mechanisms that produce chronic pain states has led to a search for novel agents with the potential to produce analgesia by directly modulating specific processes involved in the transduction, transmission, modulation, perception, and encoding of pain. It is hoped that compounds directed at these specific targets will produce better analgesics with an improved side-effect profile. The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor has been shown to play an important role in pain modulation and has become a target for potential analgesic compounds. Antagonists to the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor were antinociceptive in a number of animal models, and analgesic in experimental pain models in healthy subjects and in chronic neuropathic pain syndromes. In addition, these compounds have demonstrated the ability to prevent the development of tolerance to opioid analgesic therapy. This has led to investigations of therapies that combine an opioid agonist with an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist.
Peripheral opioid analgesia is undoubtedly of clinical relevance, especially considering that systemic opioid therapy often is hampered by central side effects. Despite some clinical studies that do not show peripheral opioid-mediated pain control, mostly because of methodologic shortcomings, studies evaluating inflammatory pain conditions show clear evidence and the number and the sites of applications are increasing. The intention of this paper is to give insight into the recent experience with the clinical applications of peripheral opioid analgesia.
Dramatic relief of pain and life-altering changes in quality of life in some patients treated with immunomodulators such as thalidomide compel us to look more closely at unconventional mechanisms that may be involved in propagation of persistent pain. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, and IL-10 are the cytokines with the most evidence in pain modulation. TNF-alpha and IL-1beta seem to initiate neuropathic pain, IL-6 maintains such pain, and IL-10 inhibits this persistent pain. Thalidomide was found to be effective in animal models by inhibiting TNF-alpha production. Several case reports and case series in humans have demonstrated mixed results, with some patients having dramatic responses, especially in chronic intractable conditions such as complex regional pain syndrome. Thalidomide may be an alternative for some patients with intractable pain. However, use of thalidomide is limited by its neurotoxic and teratogenic effects. Newer analogues may significantly improve the risk/benefit of using such immunomodulators.

Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed.