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      Unusual Pain Disorders – What Can Be Learned from Them?

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          Pain is common in many different disorders and leads to a significant reduction in quality of life in the affected patients. Current treatment options are limited and often result in insufficient pain relief, partly due to the incomplete understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. The identification of these pathomechanisms is therefore a central object of current research. There are also a number of rare pain diseases, that are generally little known and often undiagnosed, but whose correct diagnosis and examination can help to improve the management of pain disorders in general. In some of these unusual pain disorders like sodium-channelopathies or sensory modulation disorder the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms have only recently been unravelled. These mechanisms might serve as pharmacological targets that may also play a role in subgroups of other, more common pain diseases. In other unusual pain disorders, the identification of pathomechanisms has already led to the development of new drugs. A completely new therapeutic approach, the gene silencing, can even stop progression in hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis and porphyria, ie in pain diseases that would otherwise be rapidly fatal if left untreated. Thus, pain therapists and researchers should be aware of these rare and unusual pain disorders as they offer the unique opportunity to study mechanisms, identify new druggable targets and finally because early diagnosis might save many patient lives.

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          Most cited references 128

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          Enzyme replacement therapy in Fabry disease: a randomized controlled trial.

          Fabry disease is a metabolic disorder without a specific treatment, caused by a deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme alpha-galactosidase A (alpha-gal A). Most patients experience debilitating neuropathic pain and premature mortality because of renal failure, cardiovascular disease, or cerebrovascular disease. To evaluate the safety and efficacy of intravenous alpha-gal A for Fabry disease. Double-blind placebo-controlled trial conducted from December 1998 to August 1999 at the Clinical Research Center of the National Institutes of Health. Twenty-six hemizygous male patients, aged 18 years or older, with Fabry disease that was confirmed by alpha-gal A assay. A dosage of 0.2 mg/kg of alpha-gal A, administered intravenously every other week (12 doses total). Effect of therapy on neuropathic pain while without neuropathic pain medications measured by question 3 of the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI). Mean (SE) BPI neuropathic pain severity score declined from 6.2 (0.46) to 4.3 (0.73) in patients treated with alpha-gal A vs no significant change in the placebo group (P =.02). Pain-related quality of life declined from 3.2 (0.55) to 2.1 (0.56) for patients receiving alpha-gal A vs 4.8 (0.59) to 4.2 (0.74) for placebo (P =.05). In the kidney, glomeruli with mesangial widening decreased by a mean of 12.5% for patients receiving alpha-gal vs a 16.5% increase for placebo (P =.01). Mean inulin clearance decreased by 6.2 mL/min for patients receiving alpha-gal A vs 19.5 mL/min for placebo (P =.19). Mean creatinine clearance increased by 2.1 mL/min (0.4 mL/s) for patients receiving alpha-gal A vs a decrease of 16.1 mL/min (0.3 mL/s) for placebo (P =.02). In patients treated with alpha-gal A, there was an approximately 50% reduction in plasma glycosphingolipid levels, a significant improvement in cardiac conduction, and a significant increase in body weight. Intravenous infusions of alpha-gal A are safe and have widespread therapeutic efficacy in Fabry disease.
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            New drug treatments, clinical trials, and standards of quality for assessment of evidence justify an update of evidence-based recommendations for the pharmacological treatment of neuropathic pain. Using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE), we revised the Special Interest Group on Neuropathic Pain (NeuPSIG) recommendations for the pharmacotherapy of neuropathic pain based on the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis.
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              Tafamidis Treatment for Patients with Transthyretin Amyloid Cardiomyopathy

              Transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy is caused by the deposition of transthyretin amyloid fibrils in the myocardium. The deposition occurs when wild-type or variant transthyretin becomes unstable and misfolds. Tafamidis binds to transthyretin, preventing tetramer dissociation and amyloidogenesis.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                15 March 2021
                : 13
                : 3539-3554
                [1 ]Division of Neurological Pain Research and Therapy, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel , Kiel, 24105, Germany
                [2 ]Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London , London, WC1E 6BT, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Juliane Sachau Division of Neurological Pain Research and Therapy, Department of Neurology, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel , Arnold-Heller-Strasse 3, Haus D, Kiel, 24105, GermanyTel +49 431 500 23911Fax +49 431 500 23914 Email juliane.sachau@uksh.de
                © 2021 Sachau et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, References: 128, Pages: 16


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