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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Celso Agner, MD, MS, MSc (Michigan Neurology Partners)
Description: This book succinctly describes methods of research on pain.
Purpose: The characteristic idiosyncrasy of pain and methods of pain research suggests the fast-paced evolution of the field and the need for a compilation of methods used to assess pain in animals while respecting animal protection laws. The author's objective is to address methods of pain research from different angles, particularly considering the protocols developed in anesthesia and neuroscience laboratories across the world. Those objectives are clearly met.
Audience: The main audience includes anesthetists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, and basic neuroscientists involved in research on pain. This book clearly targets its audience and, more particularly in my view, basic scientists involved in animal pain research. Although some chapters are dedicated to the clinical assessment of pain in humans, it is still questionable whether this book will particularly interest clinical researchers.
Features: Thirty authors contribute 14 chapters to this book. In a well-written, almost protocol approach, the authors address different points of pain research, particularly concerning animal models of pain and methods of investigation of neurochemical compounds involved in the processing of pain in the central nervous system. The scope is broad but the text, to-the-point. The author's expertise is expressed in the conciseness of the text, the graphic quality, the illustrations, and the explanations for the procedures. The price is reasonable.
Assessment: This is an important book for neuroscience libraries and laboratories involved in the study of pain. I do not think it reaches clinicians, though, who are often involved in the daily management of patients with chronic pain. A complete understanding of pain is still beyond research, as it requires a combination of research and an understanding of patients and their sorrows.