ISSUE 1                                                                        MARCH 2001

...and in the beginning (there was nothing for a long time)


It isn’t easy to explain delay and obfuscation in terms that don’t sound like they are an excuse—so I won’t. This is an unashamed apology about the lack of progress in bringing life to this Special Interest Group (SIG); coupled with a little excuse which I will produce nearer the end once the business side of things is out of the way.

Many of you will recall that it was at the Vienna World Pain Congress that the talk about forming a SIG finally generated some activity.  Some thirty folks signed the necessary sheets of paper and Council has approved the formation of the SIG and given it the ability to collect dues to further its interests.

What’s happened so far is that money has been collected and this newsletter is the first sign that anything has been done to justify it! What we need to do now is get the SIG on a proper, formal footing.

Things to do

We need to decide upon a interim slate of officers and get opinions about a committee structure; but much more importantly we need to decide what form our SIG activity will take.

Most SIGs have elected a Chair (sometimes a Vice Chair), and Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer (sometimes combining the posts in the early part of the SIGs existence) and a Newsletter Editor.

In this instance, it would seem sensible for individuals act in the capacity of  Officers of the SIG until the next World Congress in San Diego, when we can have a formal meeting of the SIG to elect officers and approve a constitution for the SIG.

Aims and Objectives

Not as easy as might be imagined as membership of the SIG covers a very wide range of basic scientists and clinicians from a wide variety of disciplines. This is only to be expected given the multidisciplinary nature of our association. However, it does make it more difficult to ensure that there is “something for everybody”. What is absolutely certain is that the interest is there as membership has risen tenfold since Vienna.

The box at the foot of page 1 contains a very basic idea for our aims and objectives. Please let us know if these need modification to include your interests.

SIG Newsletters

Like any responsible body IASP is keen to avoid lawsuits which is the reason that the tortuously worded disclaimer appears in the bottom left hand corner of the second page. In addition, this may be an opportunity to tell you about the sort of things that will appear in your newsletter, as well as those that won’t.

What we will publish are “vital statistics” such as the names and contact details of the officers. If the SIG decides it needs a committee structure we will keep you informed about the purpose and membership. We will let you know how to contact us and we will sign every article or statement so you know who’s made it. Each year we will publish an annual report and we’ll let you know how we spend your dues.

If space permits we will give you news of the entire membership: who it is and where it comes from, we will publish  reports of any committee meetings and details of relevant IASP meetings or other meetings of interest. Other SIGs have included in their newsletter selected abstracts or signed articles from members on aspects of the special interest.

What you won’t see are uncritical endorsements, “advertorials”, unsigned anecdote and the endless reiteration of the views of the Executive or their collegues. Anything in the newsletter will have come from, and been signed by, a member of the SIG. Where appropriate there will be a declaration of interest. Modern practice accepts sponsorship and support from industry; neuropathic pain is an area attracting great interest as well as financial investment. We will tell you where commercial sponsorship has been involved. This is not intended to stop or modify the publication of research or clinical material; The object of declarations of interest are merely to ensure that everyone get recognition for their contribution whatever form that might take.



What we  need  now are ideas. A starting point is to seek volunteers for Officers. Turo Nurmikko has gallantly offered to be interim Chairman and I will collate replies to the questions posed by this newsletter. We need further volunteers to be part of an Interim Executive. In the first instance we will be looking for volunteers from a range of disciplines and geographic areas.

We need suggestions about the structure of the SIG. Some manage perfectly well with two Officers, a Newsletter editor and four committee members. Others have a cast of thousands and have an Executive Committee as well as committees on Finance, Taxonomy, Information and Research, Meetings and Workshops, Recruitment and Newsletters. It’s difficult to see what they all do so I favour a more minimalist approach!

In my view we should be aiming to have a formal meeting to approve a constitution and elect officers at the World Congress in San Diego. At that time we can discuss future activity such as SIG scientific meetings or workshops.

Once again my apologies for the delay in getting th SIG started—it is entirely my fault and no other person was involved in the procrastination.  I did say I had an excuse but it only covers 2001 as I didn’t have a heart attack before then. Now recovery is well underway even that excuse is pretty lame! I look forward to hearing from with your ideas for our future!

Edmond Charlton

Acting Honorary Secretary & Newsletter Editor

Aims and Objectives of the SIG on Neuropathic Pain


The SIG will be an international forum for discussion about the mechanisms and treatment of neuropathic pain.

Do we need to have any more defined aims and objectives? Other SIGs run meetings, collect and publish a bibliography on their topic. Newsletters contain review articles, Calendars of Events, lists of members and meeting reports as part of SIG activity. Is this sort of thing you’d like to see? What should we do? And what should we carry in our newsletter? All ideas and comments to the address below: -


Dr Edmond Charlton, Pain Management Unit, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP Un ited Kingdom.

Timely topics in pain research and treatment have been selected for publication, but the information provided and opinions expressed have not involved any verification of the findings, conclusions and opinions by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) or the SIG on neuropathic pain. Thus the opinions expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect those of the Association, the SIG, or the Officers and Counsellors of either IASP or the SIG on Neuropathic Pain. No responsibility is assumed by the Association or the SIG for any injury, and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions or ideas contained in the material herein. Because of the rapid advances of medical science, the publisher recommends that independent verification of diagnoses and drug dosage should be made

Acting Chairman:


Professor Turo J Nurmikko

Pain Research Institute

Clinical Sciences Centre for Research and Education

University Hospital Aintree

Liverpool L9 7AL

United Kingdom


IASP Council Liaison Person


Troels S Jensen MD PhD

Department of Neurology

Aarhus University Hospital

8000 Aarhus



Acting Honorary Secretary /Newsletter Editor


Dr Edmond Charlton

Pain Management Unit

Royal Victoria Infirmary

Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP

United Kingdom

SIG on Neuropathic Pain



To be a member of the Neuropathic Pain SIG you must be an IASP member. SIG dues are US$20.00 and should be paid when you renew your annual membership of IASP.


IASP Secretariat:


909 NE 43rd Street

Suite 306


WA 98105-6020



Telephone: 206-547-6409


Fax: 206-547-1703


Email: IASP@juno.com


Preliminary Notice



17th August, 2002

Tijuana, Mexico

Co-Chairmen Dr Pedro Bejarano & Professor Turo Nurmikko

Make a note in your diary NOW! Further details to follow!