Most pain is caused by damage in the periphery (skin, visceral organ etc.) and the initial, acute pain is useful as a warning signal for the body. Although this acute pain is easily treatable, the efficacy of chronic pain management is relatively poor. During the last three decades, extensive research has shown that chronic pain is due to a maladaptive process involving molecular and structural changes in the peripheral and central nervous systems. Researchers in the DNF, linked to the clinical Department of Anesthesiology in the Lausanne University Hospital, are analysing the molecular mechanisms responsible for pain persistence, especially in neuropathic pain (e.g. phantom limb pain or trigeminal neuralgia). Their aim is to contribute to a better management of patients treated at the Pain Clinic of the Lausanne University Hospital - see Décosterd.