2014 Sensory Physiology

Gate-control theory of pain

Wall and Melzack, 1965

for further review, see Dickenson (2002)

Perception of pain is not simply due to activation of nociceptors, but is the outcome of modulation of both nociceptive and non-nociceptive inputs. According to the gate theory of pain, inhibitory interneurons regulate the transmission of ascending nociceptive information at the level of the second order neuron, allowing modulation of the signal (both increases and decreases in activity are possible). This modulation can explain phantom limb pain, as well as the success of TENS treatment and the actions of opioid analgesics.
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Gate theory
Email: Dr. Janet Fitzakerley | ©2014 University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth | Last modified: 4-feb-14 8:26 PM