Dec 19, 2018

Diffusion tensor imaging as a clinically translatable prognostication tool for neurosurgery

Outcomes of neurosurgical treatments for chronic pain are typically evaluated using clinical diagnostic measures. These measures, while important, are limited because they do not provide objective information about treatment effects nor offer any prognostic value. Advanced modalities of imaging may be used as a tool to monitor the effects of treatment and predict whether patients will achieve long-term pain relief.
Dec 19, 2018

Sexual dimorphism in pain hypersensitivity mechanisms is conserved across rodent species

Sex differences in the role of spinal microglia, immune cells of the central nervous system, in pain signalling have only recently been discovered using mouse models. Now, in this study conducted by UTCSP scientists in Dr. Michael Salter’s group and collaborators, they showed that this sex difference is conserved across species by examining rats. Rats are an excellent species to test if sex differences in microglia involvement of chronic pain are conserved because certain immune responses and immune-related genes differ between mice and rats.
Oct 25, 2018

Microglial pannexin-1 as a target for joint pain

Arthritis is a debilitating condition that causes chronic joint pain. While the pathology of arthritis is characterized by peripheral joint inflammation, the associated pain arises from activation of nociceptive circuits from the periphery that converge in the spinal cord. Since such activity can lead to central sensitization through activation of microglia, a central nervous system-resident immune cell, it is possible that microglia drive joint pain.
Oct 25, 2018

Prediction of response to ketamine treatment using quantitative sensory testing and brain imaging in patients with neuropathic pain

Neuropathic pain is often difficult to treat, significantly affecting quality of life. Intravenous infusion of ketamine is a growing treatment option for patients with neuropathic pain and has been shown to provide effective and long-term pain relief. However, almost half of patients that receive this therapy do not achieve analgesic effectiveness and the factors that predict response to ketamine treatment remain unknown.
Sep 27, 2018


2018/19 UTCSP Pain Scientist Scholarship Recipients:
Lizbeth Ayoub (Moayedi lab)
Mariana Bueno (Stevens lab)
Katherine Halievski (Salter lab)
Alborz Noorani (Hodaie lab)
Mar 16, 2018

Reviewing psychological interventions for post-surgical pain

Chronic post-surgical pain (CPSP) is pain following surgery that persists beyond the expected recovery period, and which cannot be explained by known biological causes. Psychological and behavioural interventions including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), acceptance commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness-based psychotherapy can reduce pain, distress, and disability associated with CPSP. Recently, strong evidence has been presented suggesting that psychological intervention could be an important part of the surgical process, and could assist patients who are pre- or post-surgery from ever developing pathological pain. However, the body of literature on behavioural interventions for CPSP is limited. UTCSP members Dr. Joel Katz and Dr. Hance Clarke, lead author Dr. Judith L. Nicholls, and colleagues performed a systemic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on psychological interventions for CPSP.
Mar 16, 2018

Defining the Diversity of Pain Processing Neurons in the Spinal Cord

The superficial dorsal horn (SDH) of the spinal cord is responsible for the relaying of all pain information from the periphery up to the brain where it becomes part of our sensory experience. However, the neurons in these layers do not just serve as a relay station, but also as a hub. The vast majority of neurons in these layers are actually interneurons that receive and process pain information, in a complicated network of excitatory and inhibitory communication. The exact function and structure of this network is still being investigated, however deficits in inhibition and overexcitation have been implicated in the manifestation of clinical chronic pain symptoms.



February 28, 2019
“Global Year Against Pain:  Pain in the Most Vulnerable”
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Chestnut Conference Centre
89 Chestnut Street, Giovanni Room
Stay tuned for program details
RSVP by clicking on the LINK
Click HERE for Program Details

Facilitators Needed For UTCSP-IPC

We are currently seeking individuals to help facilitate the Interprofessional Small Group Sessions of the UTCSP Interfaculty Pain Curriculum (IPC) on March 19 & 20, 2019

For complete details and to register, please click on the following LINK

2018/19 Purdue Pharma Canada QEII-GSST Award

Applications are now being accepted
Deadline:  March 30, 2019

For complete award details and application forms, please click on the following LINK


University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Pain
July 15-19, 2019

Massey College
University of Toronto
Application Deadline:  March 29,2019
Click HERE for application and program details

The PCAT Reliability Testing Study

The Musculoskeletal Program at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (TRI) has developed a new Pain competence assessment tool (PCAT) to assess the competence among clinicians managing chronic pain (CP) patients.  TRI is now conducting a reliability testing for the new PCAT and are for looking for clinicians to participate in this study by answering a survey. (Survey LINK)


Toronto - April 2-5, 2019
Click HERE for complete details

IASP's Global Year For Excellence In Pain Education

January marks the launch of IASP's 2018 Global Year For Excellence In Pain Education.  IASP sponsors and promotes the Global Year For Pain, which is a year-long initiative designed to raise awareness of various aspects of pain. 

For further information, please visit the IASP website