The present study examined the effect that aging has on the manifestations of pain behaviors in a rat model of neuropathic pain. Two experiments were conducted. The first experiment compared young, mature and old rats. After tight ligation of the L5 and L6 segmental spinal nerves, young rats displayed much more vigorous behavioral signs of mechanical allodynia and ongoing pain than did either mature or old rats. The second experiment was done using the same rats at two different time points. Spinal nerve ligation was done on the left side of rats when they were young and the same surgery was repeated on the right side 20 weeks later (mature age). Comparison of pain behaviors between the left and right sides confirmed the results of the first experiment. The data suggest that younger rats show much more robust behavioral signs of neuropathic pain compared to older rats.
- Peripheral nerve injury
- Sympathetically maintained pain
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