Brain-evoked potentials as a tool for diagnosing neuropathic pain

Costanza Pazzaglia, Massimiliano Valeriani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neuropathic pain is a complex subject, not completely understood yet, and it is quite common in clinical practice, even outside of a neurological context. Neuropathic pain, often being a chronic process, alters and profoundly affects the quality of life. Therefore, the management of neuropathic pain involves a multidimensional approach, as physicians have to take care not only of the objective aspects of the problem, but also of the subjective experiences of pain. This explains why the attainment of a diagnosis becomes so important, as it allows clinicians to treat the patients with the best therapeutic approach. Several studies report the use of brain-evoked potentials for studying patients suffering from neuropathic pain. In particular, laser- and contact heat-evoked potentials have proved useful for the diagnosis of clinical conditions characterized by neuropathic pain. However, although these tools are reliable and safe instruments to assess function of the nociceptive system, their use is still largely confined to research purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-771
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • A5-fiber
  • Brain-evoked potentials
  • C-fiber
  • Contact heat-evoked potentials
  • Laser-evoked potentials
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Nociceptive assessment
  • Nociceptive fiber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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