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.
Mar 16, 2018


The Mayday Fund recently announced the winners of the Mayday Pain and Society Fellowship. Twelve pain experts were selected to the Fellowship program, which is focused on communication and advocacy for improvement of pain care.  Among the winners of this prestigious award are UTCSP members Fiona Campbell, Andrea Furlan and David Lam.
Jan 3, 2018

Predicting treatment response in trigeminal neuralgia using diffusion tensor imaging

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a chronic neuropathic facial pain disorder, characterized by excruciating, shock-like attacks of pain. When medications do not offer adequate relief for these patients, neurosurgical treatments are often considered. However, up to 20% of patients still do not experience relief even after surgical intervention. The ability to predict which patients are likely to respond to surgical intervention, and which would not would greatly optimize treatment planning and enable individual pain management.  In a recent paper, UTCSP members Peter Shih-Ping Hung, Dr. Karen Davis, Dr. Mojgan Hodaie, and colleagues investigate the use of diffusion tensor imaging to predict long-term pain relief in TN patients that undergo neurosurgical treatment.


PRF Webinar: Examining the Neural Mechanisms and Molecular Targets for the Social Modulation of Pain

On December 19, Loren Martin, University of Toronto, Canada, will discuss the impact of social context and social interactions on pain sensitivity in animals and people. 

Date: Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Time: 12 PM-1:00 PM Eastern (US time/5-6:00 PM GMT/6-7:00 PM CET.

 Register here


February 28, 2019

8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Chestnut Conference Centre
89 Chestnut Street
Stay tuned for program details


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

Massey College
University of Toronto
Application Deadline and Progam Details TBA


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