Good Pain, Bad Pain

Science  10 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5336, pp. 239-240
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5336.239

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Being able to feel pain can help avoid dangerous situations and accelerate the healing process. But sometimes prolonged pain can turn into a chronic and debilitating disease. Two reports on pages 275 and 279 of this issue suggest approaches for counteracting this "bad" pain. In their Perspective, Iadarola and Caudle discuss the work of Mantyh et al., who use a toxin to target key neurons that mediate this type of pain in the spinal cord, and Malmberg et al., who examine nociceptive processes in mice lacking a neuronal form of the signal transduction enzyme PKC that do not feel this sort of pain.