Opioids: Endogenous Opioid Pathway - pediagenosis
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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Opioids: Endogenous Opioid Pathway

Opioids: Endogenous Opioid Pathway

Opioids: Endogenous Opioid Pathway

Morphine and related compounds (opioids) mimic the effects of the endogenous opioid neurotransmitters—endorphins and enkephalins. Endogenous opioid receptors are located through­out the pathways that relay the pain signal from its source to higher CNS centers for processing, evaluation, and response (such as via the spinoreticular tract [see Figure 3­25]). Descending pathways, including endogenous opioids, NE, and 5­HT, modulate the transmission of the incoming pain signal. Thesen pathways can be activated subconsciously or consciously, which may account for a large analgesic placebo effect. Opioids alter the perception of pain. Such modulation of the affective component of pain can improve a patient’s quality of life even in the presence of a continuing sensation of pain.

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