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Rewiring of Developing Spinal Nociceptive Circuits by Neonatal Injury and Its Implications for Pediatric Chronic Pain

Journal title
Children (Basel, Switzerland)
Publication year
Baccei, M. L.

Significant evidence now suggests that neonatal tissue damage can evoke long-lasting changes in pain sensitivity, but the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remain unclear. This review highlights recent advances in our understanding of how injuries during a critical period of early life modulate the functional organization of synaptic networks in the superficial dorsal horn (SDH) of the spinal cord in a manner that favors the excessive amplification of ascending nociceptive signaling to the brain, which likely contributes to the generation and/or maintenance of pediatric chronic pain. These persistent alterations in synaptic function within the SDH may also contribute to the well-documented "priming" of developing pain pathways by neonatal tissue injury.

Research abstracts