Pain Research

An Evolutionary Medicine Perspective on Pain and Its Disorders

Abstract: Enormous progress in understanding the mechanisms that mediate pain can be augmented by an evolutionary medicine perspective on how the capacity for pain gives selective advantages, the trade-offs that shaped the mechanisms, and evolutionary explanations for the system’s vulnerability to excessive and chronic pain. Syndromes of deficient pain document tragically the utility of pain to motivate escape from and avoidance of situations causing tissue damage.

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