Opioids pp 731-771 | Cite as

Opioids and Sensory Processing in the Central Nervous System

  • A. W. Duggan
  • S. M. Fleetwood-Walker
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 104 / 1)


When considering opioids and sensory systems there are two important questions. The first deals with how opiate drugs relieve pain; the second consideration is how opioid peptides physiologically influence sensory processing. Since pain is a perception, the potential sites at which a drug could act to produce an alteration in its quality or intensity are legion. Much of the research discussed in this section demonstrates that opiates do reduce the amount of information reaching the brain in response to a peripheral stimulus normally perceived as painful. Thus, these experiments lead to the conclusion that opiates produce a diminution in the intensity of perceived pain through a reduction in the transmitted message. If opiates also act in the brain to alter perception to a given message, then this currently seems unamenable to investigation by electrophysiological means. But the possibility remains.


Dorsal Horn Sensory Processing Opioid Peptide Dorsal Horn Neurone Spinal Neurone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. W. Duggan
  • S. M. Fleetwood-Walker

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