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Chronobiology of neuropathic pain

It is now evident that patients with diabetic neuropathy and post-herpetic neuralgia exhibit significant variations in pain levels throughout the day, with lowest levels in the morning and highest in the evening. The mechanisms affecting the circadian (day/night) rhythms that control or influence pain outcomes remain unknown. Interestingly, laboratory animals show a similar effect after onset of a neuropathic pain phenotype. Using human tissue samples to guide our studies, we are examining the circadian changes in inflammatory mediators and are working to identify those that are critical in the onset and maintenance of pain.