The neuropathic pain is a type of chronic pain caused by injury or dysfunction of the peripheral or central nervous system and has been the subject of several studies. This is mainly due to the fact that neuropathic pain has an unsatisfactory response to conventional treatment in pain clinics. Some evidence indicates that the mechanisms that initiate the neuropathic pain may differ from the mechanisms that keeps the process. For example, recent studies that suggest the rostral ventromedial medulla as a structure that can play different roles in the two phases of neuropathic pain, is involved in maintenance, but not at the beginning of pain. However,the role of other brain structures that mediate both descending inhibitory mechanisms as facilitative of pain control and could also be involved in the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain has been little investigated. The anterior pretectal nucleus (APtN) is one of these structures that give rise to pathways leading to facilitation or inhibition descendants. Although the APtN is a structure known to be involved in descending modulation of nociception, has been no evidence of involvement of this nucleus in chronic pain resulting from nerve injury. Thus, this study proposes to evaluate the role of APtN neuropathic pain, both during induction and maintenance of the process.
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