Neural Mechanisms of Chronic Pain: Lessons from Translational Studies of Endometriosis

      Severe dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain), now considered a chronic pain condition, [1] is often associated with endometriosis, a painful disorder considered to be “estrogen-dependent” and defined by its signs: extrauteral endometrial growths [10]. Many women with endometriosis also suffer from other, mainly pelvic pains and conditions. Little is known about how the signs relate to the symptoms (pains), making the pains of ENDO notoriously difficult to treat. If analgesics are ineffective (often the case), then hormonal treatments are added or surgery is done to remove ectopic growths. Hormonal treatments alleviate the pain, but produce intolerable side effects, and pains generally resume when therapy stops. Furthermore, surgery is effective at best in only half of selected patients. New treatment approaches are badly needed [10].
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