October 2014 – October 2015 marks the global year against Neuropathic Pain bringing worldwide attention to a medical condition which affects approximately 47 million people all over the world.
Neuropathic pain is defined as a pain which results from damage or disturbance of the central or peripheral nervous system. Physical trauma, repetitive injuries, infection and even phantom pain following limb amputation are all incident cases that can give rise to this type of pain. Neuropathic pain changes the nerve function at both the site of injury as well as the areas around it, leading to the wrong pain signals being sent to the brain.
Neuropathic pain which only involves damage to one nerve is called mononeuropathy. More often than not multiple nerves affecting all limbs are involved, this is known as polyneuropathy. In some cases two or more isolated nerves in separate areas of the body can be affected. This is termed mononeuritis multiplex.
Neuropathic Pain results in a significant reduction in the quality of life of sufferers and is one of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat effectively. The Epiomic Database explores patient sub-populations based on specific areas of the body affected by pain and includes the intensity and duration of the pain experienced. The database covers 8 different countries; ensuring precise groups can be targeted.
Of the 33 million people infected with HIV across the world, around 35% have neuropathic pain, which does not respond well to standard pain medications.