Mar 16, 2016

Neural Mechanisms Underlying Anxiety-Chronic Pain Interactions

In a recent article in Trends in Neuroscience, Dr. Min Zhuo discusses the link between anxiety and chronic pain. While chronic pain and anxiety are often comorbid, and treating anxiety can result in a reduction in pain, these conditions are usually studied separately. Dr. Zhuo proposes that these conditions are related via long-term potentiation (LTP) mechanisms in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).
Mar 16, 2016

The Periaqueductal Gray Matter: Sub-regions and Functional Connectivity with Descending Pain Modulation Circuitry

The experience of pain is highly variable between individuals for a multitude of physiological and psychological reasons. Evidence now suggests that part of this variability is due to interactions between ascending nociceptive signaling pathways and descending modulatory circuitry. The periaqueductal gray matter (PAG) is a critical brain region involved in top-down modulatory circuits. The laboratory of Dr. Karen Davis, and post-doctoral fellow Dr. Marie-Andree Colulombe recently investigated sub-regions of the PAG and their functional connectivity with other brain regions involved in pain processing.
Jan 20, 2016

Longitudinal Study of Catastrophizing, Pain and Cortical Thickness in Chronic Pain Patients

Neuropathic pain is a common chronic pain condition, which occurs following peripheral nerve injury (PNI). It is currently unknown why only some individuals with PNI develop chronic pain. However, it is predicted that both biological and psychological factors contribute to this process. The laboratory of Dr. Karen Davis recently conducted a longitudinal investigation of pan catastrophizing (i.e., when an individual has exaggerated negative thinking about painful experiences) and insula gray matter changes in patients with nerve injury.
Jan 20, 2016

Abnormal cross-network functional connectivity in chronic pain and its association with clinical symptoms

Kasey Hemington, Keith Wu, Aaron Kucyi, Robert Inman and Karen Davis recently published a neuroimaging study, characterizing abnormalities between functional brain networks in chronic pain patients. The authors used resting state, functional magnetic resonance imaging to uncover abnormal connections between functional networks that were closely related to clinical symptom severity.
Jan 18, 2016

The Problem of Chronic Pain

Thousands of Ontarians suffer every day from chronic pain - persistent pain that can last for months or even longer. Some take powerful drugs simply to get by. As Ontario moves to curb the use of opioids, TVO's The Agenda explores how chronic pain is understood and its impact on society. 
Please click HERE to view the video

Dec 16, 2015

UTCSP Unveils New 5-Year Strategic Plan

The University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Pain (UTCSP) is pleased to announce it's new Strategic Plan for 2015-2020.  The planning process included a review of the previous plan, and input from a large number of stakeholders from all categories of membership in UTCSP over a number of face-to-face and virtual sessions.  This Plan provides a strong basis for the UTCSP's organizational structure, including the working committees and key activities of the Centre, designed to meet it's strategic goals.  

UTCSP Strategic Plan 2015-2020
Nov 19, 2015

Efficacy of celecoxib in the treatment of chronic nonspecific low back pain

Dr. Robert D. Inman’s research group has demonstrated that celecoxib, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, which selectively inhibits COX-2, has superior efficacy as compared to acetaminophen in treating chronic nonspecific low back pain. Dr. Inman conducted a randomized controlled trial to compare the effects of a 4-week treatment of either celecoxib (200mg, 2x daily) or acetaminophen (500mg, 2x daily) on both pain scores and MRI scores in 50 patients with nonspecific low back pain. Patients receiving celecoxib had more relief of total back pain and nocturnal back pain as well as more significant improvements on disability measures and global assessment measures than patients receiving acetaminophen. Neither celecoxib nor acetaminophen treatment produced any changes on MRI scores of inflammatory lesions nor morning stiffness, suggesting that both treatments are only effective at reducing pain scores.


UTCSP Translational Seminar Series presents:

Emerging Treatments for Chronic Pain:
Trials and Tribulations
May 5, 2016
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Multimedia Room, 3rd Floor
Peter Gilgan Centre for Research & Learning
686 Bay Street


Connaught Summer Institute in PAIN:
Integrating Research and Clinical Practice
July 18-22, 2016
Massey College, Toronto

Graduate and post-doctoral trainees and research fellows from all fields of pain research are invited to apply.
There are no tuition fees and participants from out-of-town are eligible for up to $1000 in support
Application Deadline:  April 15, 2016

"In search of neuroimaging biomarkers for chronic facial pain and headache: Implications for diagnosis and treatment"

Presented by Dr. Danielle DeSouza, PhD,
Stanford University, Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Postdoctoral Fellow
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
11:00 a.m.
RED ROOM, Donnelly Centre
160 College Street

Intstitute on Advancing Chronic Pain Assessment and Management

Hosted by the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing/
​The Centre for Professional Development
April 28-29, 2016
Please click HERE for program details and to register

IASP 16th World Congress on Pain

September 26-30, 2016
Pacifico Convention Centre
Yokohama, Japan

Please click HERE for full details.

IASP's Global Year Against Pain in the Joints

January marks the launch of IASP's 2016 Global Year Against Pain in the Joints.  IASP sponsors and promotes the Global Year Against Pain, which is a year-long initiative designed to raise awareness of various aspects of pain. 

For further information, please visit the IASP website

Pain in the News

Dec 9, 2015

Impairments of the primary afferent nerves in a rat model of diabetic visceral hyposensitivity

Diabetic neuropathy in visceral organs such as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is still poorly understood, despite that GI symptoms are among the most common diabetic complications. The present study was designed to explore the changes in visceral sensitivity and the underlying functional and morphological deficits of the sensory nerves in short-term diabetic rats.
Dec 1, 2015

Short-term pre- and post-operative stress prolongs incision-induced pain hypersensitivity without changing basal pain perception

Chronic stress has been reported to increase basal pain sensitivity and/or exacerbate existing persistent pain. However, most surgical patients have normal physiological and psychological health status such as normal pain perception before surgery although they do experience short-term stress during pre- and post-operative periods.
Nov 24, 2015

The role of Na <sub>v</sub> 1.9 channel in the development of neuropathic orofacial pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia

and chemical hypersensitivity of the orofacial area innervated by neurons of trigeminal ganglion (TG). 1.9 in the development of trigeminal neuralgia.
Nov 14, 2015

Brain natriuretic peptide constitutively downregulates P2X3 receptors by controlling their phosphorylation state and membrane localization

ATP-gated P2X3 receptors are important transducers of nociceptive stimuli and are almost exclusively expressed by sensory ganglion neurons. In mouse trigeminal ganglion (TG), P2X3 receptor function is unexpectedly enhanced by pharmacological block of natriuretic peptide receptor-A (NPR-A), outlining a potential inhibitory role of endogenous natriuretic peptides in nociception mediated by P2X3 receptors.
Nov 14, 2015

The effect of kinin B1 receptor on chronic itching sensitization

Altered kallikrein-related peptidase activity and bradykinin are associated with skin disorders in humans and mice under chronic inflammation conditions. The bradykinin B1 receptor (B1R), also known as one of the G-protein-coupled receptor family and usually absent in intact tissues and upregulated during tissue injury, is responsible for vasodilation, capillary permeability, nociceptor sensitization, and pain; it is indispensable for physiopathological progress in chronic inflammation conditions, but its roles and effectors in the itching sensation of the allergic contact dermatitis model are poorly defined.
Nov 13, 2015

Transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 that is induced in dorsal root ganglion neurons contributes to acute cold hypersensitivity after oxaliplatin administration

Peripheral cold neuropathic pain is a serious side effect of oxaliplatin treatment. However, the mechanism of oxaliplatin-induced cold hyperalgesia is unknown.