Pain, Chemical Transmitter Concepts

  • Lars Terenius
Part of the Readings from the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience book series (REN)


The word pain covers phenomena ranging from the acute sensation leading to a nocifensive response to long-term or chronic suffering, a disease state. When cross-species comparisons are made, the general evolutionary level of the species involved must be considered. Since pain is such a loose term, better definitions are needed. These may include descriptions of the chemical substrates and neuronal transmitters involved in pain and pain modulation, which are likely targets for intervention by pharmacotherapy.


Placebo Aspirin Morphine Flare Histamine 


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Further reading

  1. Han JS, Terenius L (1982): Neurochemical basis of acupuncture analgesia. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 22: 193–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Salt TE, Hill RG (1983): Neurotransmitter candidates of somatosensory primary afferent fibers. Neuroscience 10:1083–1103 Terenius L (1981): Endorphins and pain. Front Horm Res 8: 162–177Google Scholar
  3. Terman GW, Shavit Y, Lewis JW, Cannon JT, Liebeskind JC (1984): Intrinsic mechanisms of pain inhibition: activation by stress. Science 226: 1270–1277CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars Terenius

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