In this issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Pain Zhiping Zhang and co-workers from the research groups of Martin Schmelz, Ellen Jørum, and the Translational Science Centre of AstraZeneca publish a highly interesting and important paper on genetics and neuro-physiological research of the pain of erythromelalgia .1What is erythromelalgiaFor readers who have not seen a case, or maybe even have not heard of patients suffering from attacks of painful red feet (and hands), here is a brief description of a patient with an attack of this rare (1:100 000) erythromelalgia – derived from three Greek words erythros (“red”), melos (“limb”), and algos (“pain”):A young adult woman (as always more women with pain than men), in the middle of the winter, sits with her feet and hands in a bucket of ice-water, complaining that her red feet and hands are burning painfully.The name erythromelalgia was coined by Silas Weird Mitchell (who also described causalgia) in 1878. In 2004 erythromelalgia became the first human neuropathic pain disorder known to be caused by an ion channel mutation, in the gene SCN9A encoding the voltage-gated sodium channel α-subunit of NaV1.7. This voltage gated sodium channel is expressed in C-fibres of peripheral nerves and
Scandinavian Journal of Pain – de Gruyter
Published: Oct 1, 2014
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