Using neuroinflammatory markers to decipher chronic low back pain

Takeaway

  • Neuroinflammatory signatures may exist in patients with different clinical presentations of chronic low back pain, offering potential targets for personalized pain therapy.

Why this matters

  • Neuro-immune responses, potentially mediated by microglia and astrocytes, are believed to play a key role in the pathogenesis and persistence of chronic low back pain.

  • Elevated levels of the 18kDa translocator protein (TPSO), a glial marker, have been found in the neural tissue of patients with several chronic pain conditions, including chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, and Gulf War Illness.

  • It is possible that spatial differences in TPSO signals could help to characterize subtypes of patients with chronic low back pain.