Hypothesizing that brain reward circuitry genes are genetic antecedents of pain sensitivity and critical diagnostic and pharmacogenomic treatment targets for chronic pain conditions

Amanda L.C. Chen, Thomas J.H. Chen, Roger L. Waite, Jeffrey Reinking, Howard L. Tung, Patrick Rhoades, B. William Downs, Eric Braverman, Dasha Braverman, Mallory Kerner, Seth H. Blum, Nicholas DiNubile, David Smith, Marlene Oscar-Berman, Thomas J. Prihoda, John B. Floyd, David O'Brien, H. H. Liu, Kenneth Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

While it is well established that the principal ascending pathways for pain originate in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord and in the medulla, the control and sensitivity to pain may reside in additional neurological loci, especially in the mesolimbic system of the brain (i.e., a reward center), and a number of genes and associated polymorphisms may indeed impact pain tolerance and or sensitivity. It is hypothesized that these polymorphisms associate with a predisposition to intolerance or tolerance to pain. It is further hypothesized that identification of certain gene polymorphisms provides a unique therapeutic target to assist in the treatment of pain. It is hereby proposed that pharmacogenetic testing of certain candidate genes (i.e., mu receptors, PENK etc.) will result in pharmacogenomic solutions personalized to the individual patient, with potential improvement in clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-22
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Volume72
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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