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Marco Martina, MD, MSc, PhD

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Associate professor of physiology

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Work/Research

Our lab has pioneered the idea that rearrangement of the limbic system and of the medial prefrontal cortex in particular has a central role in pain chronification. We have shown that in a neuropathic pain model individual neurons of the prefrontal cortex undergo morphological and functional changes within one week from pain onset; these include decreased excitatory transmission and cholinergic modulation, as well as layer-specific changes in dendritic length. We are currently exploring the causal role of several limbic areas such as the hippocampus, nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area in the maintenance of chronic pain.