Open Access Honors Program Thesis
Neuropathic pain is caused by injury to or disease of the nervous system. It affects many people around the world and is a symptom of several diseases. In the United States, it is estimated that up to 3% of Americans have neuropathic pain, which costs the healthcare system $40 billion annually (Gilron et al. 2006). It is, unfortunately, difficult to ameliorate or eliminate due to the complexity of the nervous system and its plasticity and is, therefore, a chronic condition. Health care professionals continually struggle to treat patients' pain and, since tolerance to painkillers is easily built up, this often necessitates a regular increase in dosage of painkillers. It is essential that other treatment options be made available to these patients in order to lessen and ultimately end their painful conditions. In my thesis I will explore several forms of treatment as well as describe the research I have done in this field. I will then look at the ethical dilemmas in pain management. This project is designed to compile treatment options and inform others about issues surrounding neuropathic pain.
In this thesis project, the following areas will be discussed: (1) an introduction to neuropathic pain, including who is affected by this type of pain as well as related diseases and symptoms; (2) current drug treatments as well as alternative treatments; (3) recent research, specifically the study I was a part of studying the efficacy of using antioxidants to treat neuropathic pain in rats; and (4) the ethical issues in managing neuropathic pain. However, before experimental data can be reported, a greater understanding of neuropathic pain is needed.
Year of Submission
Department of Biology
University Honors Designation
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors
1 PDF file (27 pages)
©2009 Sara Akre
Akre, Sara, "Treatment Options for Neuropathic Pain" (2009). Honors Program Theses. 779.