[2018 Round-up] Pain research in 2018: the year of translational studies

For decades, the traditional bottom-up approach in chronic pain research has consisted of investigation into mechanisms of pain in animal models, then attempted translation of the data obtained to the clinic.1,2 However, because it is difficult to predict mechanistic conservation between animals and humans, several treatments developed on the basis of the mechanisms identified in animals have subsequently failed in humans.2 A translational top-down approach to research has also been tried, consisting of stratifying patients on the basis of their sensory phenotypes (ie, specific combinations of signs and symptoms), with the hypothesis that these phenotypes are surrogate markers for varying mechanisms.

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