May 16, 2017

A multidisciplinary approach to the care of chronic postsurgical pain: a case report by the Transitional Pain Service

The serious risks of opioid use (including side effects, dependence, tolerance, and overdose mortality) have raised concerns about safe opioid prescribing and management. Opioid-dependent chronic pain patients who undergo major surgery are especially vulnerable. The current postsurgical care provides little guidance and education for patients to manage their pain. The Toronto General Hospital Transitional Pain Service (TPS) is a novel team that provides specialized, multidisciplinary care for chronic postsurgical pain patients. In a recent case report, UTCSP members Dr. Hance Clarke, Dr. Joel Katz, and colleagues describe the postsurgical care by the TPS team of a patient with complex chronic pain and high opioid dependence.
May 9, 2017


Dr. C. Peter N. Watson is the 2017 recipient of the Mitchell B. Max Award from the American Academy of Neurology for his work in neuropathic pain. As a neurologist and clinician scientist he has made outstanding scientific contributions to the understanding of neuropathic pain and pharmacological treatment such as with postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) and diabetic neuropathy.

Mar 14, 2017

Reflecting on the 2017 UTCSP Annual Scientific Meeting

On February 28th, the UTCSP held its Annual Scientific Meeting at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. After a welcome and introduction by Drs. Hance Clarke, Rob Bonin, and Bonnie Stevens, attendees had the opportunity to hear from several speakers, including UTCSP faculty and trainees with expertise in both basic and clinical pain research.
Mar 14, 2017

Structural neuroimaging reveals the peripheral and central contributions to trigeminal neuralgia pain

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a chronic neuropathic facial pain disorder, considered as one of the most painful conditions known to medicine. The characteristic feature of TN involves severe episodes of electric shock-like unilateral facial pain. Since a viable animal model of TN has not been established, the etiology and pathophysiological mechanisms of TN remains elusive. In a recent review article, UTCSP members Drs. Danielle DeSouza, Mojgan Hodaie, and Karen Davis discuss their body of work on how structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), can reveal peripheral and CNS abnormalities of TN.
Mar 14, 2017

A microglial pannexin-1 mechanism is critical for morphine withdrawal

Morphine is the gold standard medication for pain management due to its potent analgesic properties. Unfortunately, morphine is also associated severe withdrawal symptoms including nausea, chills, and severe headaches. These symptoms often negatively impact a patient’s attempts to stop opiate-based therapies. As a result, there is significant interest in trying to alleviate negative side effects without attenuation of morphine’s analgesic effect. However, the current understanding of the mechanisms underlying withdrawal is limited.
Jan 23, 2017

Opioids, musculoskeletal disorders, and work-related outcomes

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as strains, sprains, fractures, and arthritis are a common cause of work disability and absenteeism. Current guidelines suggest that opioid medications should be prescribed for MSDs only when pain is severe and unresponsive to non-opioid analgesics. However, in some cases best practice guidelines are not being followed and opioids are overprescribed for MSDs, potentially contributing to work disability. 
Jan 23, 2017

A sweet solution for reducing procedural pain in neonates

Sweet solutions have been repeatedly demonstrated to be analgesic in neonates undergoing medical procedures. Despite the extent of evidence for the efficacy of this intervention, clinical trials continue to be conducted using placebo/no-treatment groups. Thus, Dr. Bonnie Stevens and colleagues conducted a cumulative meta-analyses (CMAs) on the impact of sugar solutions on behavioural pain outcomes.



2017/18 UTCSP Pain Scientist Scholarship
Application Deadline:  July 14, 2017
Click HERE for complete details and application forms

11th Annual Pain & Migraine Therapeutics Summit

September 27-28, 2017
San Diego, California
Click HERE for further details

IASP's Global Year Against Pain After Surgery

January marks the launch of IASP's 2017 Global Year Against Pain After Surgery.  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