For the first time ever, NeuPSIG—the International Association for the Study of Pain’s Special Interest Group on neuropathic pain—will bring its biennial meeting to a North American venue. NeuPSIG, whose objective is to “promote the study of mechanisms, assessment, prevention, and treatment of neuropathic pain,” held its first three meetings in Europe in 2004, 2007, and 2010, and now Toronto is set to play host. And, in another first, this year’s gathering includes a debate format, to complement the meeting’s traditional workshop-based offerings. Andrew S.C. Rice, Chair of the Scientific Programme Committee for the meeting, kindly sent PRF a summary (below) of these and many other highlights from the upcoming congress. Take a look to learn more about this event, the only meeting of its kind for researchers and clinicians interested in neuropathic pain.
Message from Andrew S.C. Rice:
NeuPSIG 2013 to Bring Together World’s Leading Neuropathic Pain Experts
NeuPSIG is the official IASP Special Interest Group devoted to the understanding and management of neuropathic pain. As befits a member of the IASP family, NeuPSIG has a strong multidisciplinary ethos, and is the forum where scientists and clinicians come together to interact and comprehensively discuss all aspects of neuropathic pain. To this end, NeuPSIG holds regular conferences devoted to the study of neuropathic pain, and the flagship of these is our biennial International Congress on Neuropathic Pain. This is the one major international forum where the science and clinical professions exchange knowledge and share ideas about neuropathic pain. Previous congresses have seen an attendance of around 1,700 people from across the globe. The 4th International Congress on Neuropathic Pain—NeuPSIG 2013—will be held in Toronto, Canada, 23-26 May 2013, our first in North America.
The scientific programme at NeuPSIG 2013 includes 13 plenary lectures from major international speakers, as well as 46 parallel expert workshops and about 400 poster presentations and a trade exhibition. The faculty includes speakers from all the relevant preclinical and clinical domains, covering the full spectrum of neuropathic pain interests, with well-known and distinguished researchers and a plethora of rising stars with exciting new ideas to reveal.
Plenary lectures are the highlight of each day, and will be delivered by our high-profile team of internationally renowned speakers. This is headed by the current president of IASP (Fernando Cervero, Canada) and a past president (Troels Jensen, Denmark), who will be discussing, respectively, the hitherto neglected topic of neuropathic pain in the context of the viscera and the phenomenon of allodynia. Distinguished laboratory scientists are well represented amongst the plenary speakers and include Frank Porreca (USA), who will reveal important new findings about the neural circuits that modulate the affective aspects of neuropathic pain, and Gary Bennett (Canada), who will describe the role of mitochondria in neuropathic pain pathophysiology. They are joined by rising star Simon Beggs (Canada), who will discuss the developmental plasticity of neuronal-glial signaling and its role in generating neuropathic pain. Michael Rowbotham (USA) will discuss the importance of accessing all published and unpublished data when synthesizing the clinical evidence base. It is important that we learn from advances in other fields: Malcolm Macleod (U.K.) will discuss valuable lessons learned from the stroke field regarding the design of preclinical experiments, especially those that are relevant to improving the efficiency of drug development. A number of the plenary lectures will focus on topical clinical aspects of neuropathic pain: for example, Michael Bennett (U.K.) on neuropathic pain in cancer; Vera Brill (Canada) on diabetic neuropathy; Audun Stubhaug (Norway) on the risk factors and epidemiology of chronic pain after surgery; and Catherine Cherry (Australia) on the emerging problem of neuropathic pain associated with HIV. David Yarnitsky (Israel) will share his extensive knowledge of pain modulation, and Mark Jensen (USA) will discuss the important topic of the efficacy and mechanisms of non-pharmacological treatments for neuropathic pain.
The parallel workshops are the heart of the conference, where the real sharing of knowledge and ideas takes place among different disciplines. In the 46-workshop programme, the whole spectrum of interests is covered, from genetics and molecular biology through all clinical aspects to epidemiology and psychology. We have ensured that there will be plenty of time for audience participation and interaction. Please visit the website to see the full range of exciting workshops on offer, which include a number that will be of interest to those of us working in the developing world (one of the current NeuPSIG priorities) and those at the forefront of neuropathic pain science and treatment. The NeuPSIG Guidelines on interventional techniques in the management of neuropathic pain will be launched in a workshop at the conference.
In response to feedback from previous congresses, we have introduced a new, alternative format to traditional workshops in the form of debates. One debate will be held on each day of the congress, and will address a current controversial question:
1. QST Quantitative Sensory Testing: Useful for Diagnostics in an Individual Case?
2. Does Experimental Bias Contribute to Poor Bench-to-Bedside Translation of Novel Pain Therapeutic Agents?
3. Cannabis for Neuropathic Pain—Debating the Merits of Cannabis as Medicine
Apart from the many attractions of Toronto in early summer, one of the reasons that NeuPSIG chose this venue was to acknowledge the long and distinguished history of Eastern Canada in pain research, especially in the centers of Toronto and Montréal. Many fundamental contributions have been made by scientists and clinicians in this part of the world. However, it gives NeuPSIG particular pleasure to be co-hosting, with the University of Toronto, a tribute symposium to the life’s work of Jonathan Dostrovosky, to mark his retirement from the University of Toronto. Professor Dostrovsky has made many key contributions to the success of both IASP and NeuPSIG over the years, and, indeed, he has been a key figure in the management of NeuPSIG from its formation to the present day. In recognition of his many contributions, he was awarded Honorary Memberships of both IASP and NeuPSIG in 2012. Long before the word “translation” became fashionable, Jonathan was one of the first individuals to make the important step of taking his findings from the laboratory into experimental medicine studies in patients. Accordingly, the symposium is entitled “Mechanism of Neuropathic Pain: Insights from Animal and Human Research.”
NeuPSIG looks forward to welcoming you to Toronto in May.
For more information and registration, please visit the congress website.