Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors that are prescribed to treat patients with depression are also known to alleviate chronic neuropathic pain, but the mechanisms are not fully understood.
Now, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and their colleagues have discovered that the TCA desipramine may alleviate neuropathic pain by modulating specific cellular signaling events in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a part of the brain’s reward system (Mitsi V et al. Proc Natl Acad Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.1504283112 [published online August 24, 2015]).
Hampton T. Study Elucidates How Antidepressants May Lessen Neuropathic Pain. JAMA. 2015;314(13):1331. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.12352