The University of Washington is committed to improving the lives of people suffering from nervous system disorders that result in chronic pain, drug addiction and depression. These syndromes often go together: chronic pain can lead to over-use of opioid analgesics and feelings of depression. Clinical depression increases the risk of developing chronic pain syndromes and over-use of addictive drugs. Use of addictive drugs often leads to depression during drug withdrawal and hypersensitivity to pain. Recognizing this challenging interplay, scientists in the Departments of Pharmacology, Anesthesiology and Psychiatry have been working together to understand how the nervous system processes sensory information and how that transmission is affected by chronic pain and mood disorders.