Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain
Neuropathic pain is major healthcare problem worldwide, and pain relief often constitutes a problematic challenge to the physician. At present, laser-evoked potentials are considered to be the best available diagnostic tool to assess the function of the nociceptive system and to diagnose the neuropathic nature of pain. Currently, we are conducting a number of studies aiming at better understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms leading to central and peripheral neuropathic pain. For example, the laboratory is developing new methods for the functional and structural characterization of small-fibre peripheral neuropathies (quantitative sensory testing, laser-evoked potentials, immunohistological assessment of skin biopsies), and to study the mechanisms involved in central pain related to syringomyelia (see Figure).