Scientific News

Professor Bennett’s team at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, have released a video clip demonstrating the protocol for the Toronto Clinical Scoring System (TCSS). The TCSS is a clinical scoring system that is used for diagnosing diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Dr Andreas Themistocleous shows how to score the symptoms component of the TCSS and how to perform the reflex and sensory tests.


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The abstract submission for the 6th International Congress on Neuropathic Pain (NeuPSIG 2017) has just opened and the deadline is January 10, 2017. NeuPSIG 2017 is an international forum that provides the latest research and developments in understanding the mechanisms, assessment, prevention and treatment of neuropathic pain. The Congress will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden from June 15 to 18, 2017.

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PAIN Reports® is an official IASP publication. An open access multidisciplinary journal, PAIN Reports promotes a global, rapid, and readily accessible forum that advances clinical, applied, and basic research on pain. The online journal publishes full-length articles as well as brief reports, reviews, meta-analyses, meeting proceedings, and selected case reports. PAIN Reports gives special attention to submissions reporting the results of enterprising and high-risk research and pilot studies as well as locally developed clinical guidelines from scientists and clinicians in developing countries. PAIN Reports’ Editor-in-Chief is Prof David Yarnitsky, a member of the DOLORisk consortium.

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The DOLORisk project investigating determinants for neuropathic pain kicked off in July 2015. To round up the first year of work, 30 researchers from all 12 members of the consortium gathered at Green Templeton College in Oxford, United Kingdom on 27 and 28 June 2016. The Scientific Advisory Board of the project was represented by Prof Roy Freeman, Dr Lucia Sobrin, Prof Hugh Bostock, and Dr Thomas Klein.

Prof David Bennett, DOLORisk’s Scientific Coordinator, kicked off the meeting with an overview of the project. The consortium then presented and discussed updates on all work packages, covering the following points:

  • Harmonisation of the clinical studies (WP1, David Bennett);
  • Genetic analysis (WP2, Mark McCarthy);
  • Molecular pathways (WP3, Iulia Blesneac);
  • Sensory phenotypes (WP4, Janne Gierthmuehlen);
  • Nerve excitability measures and conditioned pain modulation (WP5, Jordi Serra and David Yarnitsky);
  • Psychosocial factors (WP6, Geert Crombez); - Databasing (WP7, Harry Hebert);
  • Communication (WP9, Mathilde Pascal).

The bulk of the work achieved in the past twelve months has been the harmonisation of the different tests used to determine the presence or absence of neuropathic pain. The consortium spent a lot of efforts on getting ethics approvals for the 7 clinical studies that make up DOLORisk, and recruitment of patients will soon have started in all centres.

To broaden our vision, we invited external experts to join us as members of the Scientific Advisory Board. Dr Sobrin (Harvard Medical School) gave a presentation on the genetics of diabetic retinopathy. The Scientific Advisory Board gave further input on the DOLORisk project at the end of the meeting.

Having all members of the consortium present in Oxford was very helpful to ensure that the project remains well-articulated. The participants had further opportunities to socialise over dinner, while enjoying the panoramic view on Oxford from the eighteenth-century Radcliffe Observatory, and during the England-Iceland football game.

The next annual meeting will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden in June 2017.

David Yarnitsky’s lab in Rambam Health Care Campus, Technion Faculty of Medicine, have released a video clip describing the procedure of testing conditioned pain modulation (CPM). The protocol consists of mechanical and thermal stimuli for the test-stimuli, and cold water immersion for conditioning stimulus. This technique will be used in DOLORisk for profiling and analysing individuals’ endogenous analgesic mechanisms.


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