Peripheral entrapment neuropathies such as carpal tunnel syndrome or radiculopathies are common conditions that are caused by compression of a nerve as it travels through narrow anatomical spaces. Symptoms include tingling, numbness and weakness and are classically restricted to the affected nerve territory (e.g. the hand in carpal tunnel syndrome). Some patients however develop chronic neuropathic pain, which may even spread beyond the lesion site. The exact pathophysiology underlying compression neuropathies and why a subgroup of patients develops debilitating neuropathic pain is still unknown. Importantly, effective non-surgical management strategies for patients with entrapment neuropathies are currently lacking.
My research focusses on advancing our understanding of the pathophysiology of compression neuropathies to ultimately improve management of these patients.
We also use entrapment neuropathies as unique model systems that allow the prospective evaluation of nerve injury and repair in the context of neuropathic pain. My group uses a range of methodologies including deep clinical phenotyping using quantitative sensory testing, standard and specialised neurophysiological methods and magnetic resonance neurography. We also use a range of technologies (e.g., RNA sequencing, qPCR, specialised histology) to study the cellular and molecular aspects of entrapment neuropathies.