NEWSLETTER of the IASP Special Interest Group on Neuropathic Pain


Issue 2                                                                                                                                                                 July 2002


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


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


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.

Future Plans for SIG Proposed

      The first full meeting of the Special Interest Group (SIG) on Neuropathic Pain will take place during the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) 10th World Congress on Pain (WCP) in San Diego in August 2002. This business meeting will be held at:


4.30pm to 5.30pm, Tuesday, 20th August, 2002 in Room 1AB, Upper Level, San Diego Convention Center.


Proposals to be brought to the meeting include discussion and approval of the aims and objectives of the SIG, future educational activity, a management structure and election of Officers and a committee. Please try and attend this meeting!


The comprehensive list of aims and objectives drawn up by the interim management committee are listed below. In addition, there are proposals for an extensive calendar of future educational activity, and this too is outlined in this newsletter.


Aim of the Special Interest Group on Neuropathic Pain


The following “Mission Statement” is proposed : -

The SIG will promote the study of mechanisms, assessment, prevention and treatment of neuropathic pain”


The SIG welcomes membership from researchers and clinicians to exchange ideas on : -

·         collaboration for basic and clinical research

·         the study of the underlying mechanisms of neuropathic pain, such as
central sensitisation and cortical reorganisation

·         the exchange of clinical information and experience about the assessment and treatment of neuropathic pain

·         the identification and implementation of programs to prevent the development of neuropathic pain

·         furthering the educational objectives of the SIG via international meetings, an annual symposium, workshops at the WCP, WCP satellite meetings, the newsletter and the IASP website.


Educational Activity


The first educational activity the SIG will undertake is the co-sponsorship of a satellite meeting of the 10th World Congress on Pain. This is to be held on:

August 14th, 2002, in El Gran Hotel, Tijuana, B.C. Mexico.

“Changing Paradigms in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Neuropathic Pain: How Far Have We Gone?”

The meeting is organized and presented by the IASP Mexican Chapter in liaison with the SIG, the Regional Federation of Latin American IASP Chapters (FEDELAT) and the Pain Research Foundation (Liverpool, U.K.). Generous sponsorship had been received from Pfizer Ltd and a proportion of these funds are to be used to underwrite the costs of the Tijuana meeting, the remainder being available in unrestricted form to further the aims and objectives of the SIG. Endo, too, is providing substantial support, and it is hoped that members of the SIG attending the 10th World Congress on Pain in San Diego will avail themselves of the opportunity to take the short trip to Tijuana and participate in this meeting.

Future meetings


November 21-23, 2002. Fairmont Southampton Princess, Bermuda  Many members of the SIG will have attended, or at least be aware of, the annual meetings on “Mechanisms and Treatment of Neuropathic Pain” run by Dr Robert Dworkin and the Office of Continuing Professional Education at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. The next meeting will be the fifth international conference in the series. It has been agreed that the SIG become co-sponsors of this prestigious annual meeting for the two years after this. The sixth, and first joint, meeting in this series is scheduled for: September 2003, and will probably be held in San Francisco, USA.


21-23 May, 2004 in Madrid, Spain. The interim committee suggests that it would be reasonable for the second joint meeting to be held in Europe, probably in Spring 2004. This does not rule out the possibility of holding a further “Mechanisms and Treatment” meeting in the USA later in the year. It was felt important to ensure that SIG-supported activity was available outside North America venues as well. The venue and dates suggested for the European meeting are 21-23 May, 2004 in Madrid, Spain.


August, 2005 The 11th World Congress on Pain in is being held in Sydney, Australia. It is proposed to apply for a satellite meeting in association with this congress. In addition, it is expected that the SIG will apply to run workshops as part of the scientific program for this Congress. The interim management committee believe that neuropathic pain is a suitable topic for one of the IASP Research Symposia and it is proposed that the Secretary should contact the Executive Committee of IASP and propose that the SIG hold one of these meetings in 2006. The satellite meeting prior to the 2005 congress would serve as a precursor to the Research Symposium.


Financial Matters


        The SIG is in a most healthy financial position following generous sponsorship by Pfizer. Under half these funds have been set aside to support the Tijuana meeting as agreed with Pfizer when they made their initial contribution to SIG funds. The SIG has no additional liability in terms of this meeting. The remaining funds are available without restriction to support the Aims and Objectives of the SIG. 

        The interim management committee has discussed future fund-raising by the SIG. It is believed that this should be pursued through membership dues, meetings and commercial sponsorship of awards and meetings. It has been agreed that there should be an ad hoc working party led by Dr Chris Wells that will look at fund-raising and which will report to the SIG meeting in San Diego.

        The Neuropathic Pain SIG is financially more secure than many other SIGs. An over-riding IASP principle is that money available should be used to support the aims of the SIG. It is recognised that a certain amount will required to underwrite the activity of the SIG including newsletters, the web, administrative expenses and educational meetings, but it is the unanimous view of the interim management committee that research activity should be supported if at all possible.

        Proposals will be brought to the SIG membership in San Diego that the SIG will try to establish two research awards through sponsorship. These will not compete with existing IASP awards but would complement them at a much lower level of support and would be specifically available for research in the field of interest of the SIG.  The proposal is for two awards; one for basic science and one for clinical research that would be awarded triennially in conjunction with the WCP. The level of the awards suggested is $5,000 plus an airfare and registration for the WPC. Other sponsorship opportunities could be tied in with the proposed awards.


Committee Structure


It is proposed that the management structure of the SIG be kept simple and consist of a single committee as at present. The current structure has worked well and represents geographical and specialty interests within the SIG. It is hoped that we can retain a similar representation in future. It is proposed to seek nominations for the management committee from the membership via the newsletter and again, from the floor at the SIG meeting in San Diego. The current membership of the steering committee will offer itself for election as the first substantive management committee. Current membership is as follows : -

Chair                       Prof. Turo Nurmikko (England)

Vice Chair              Dr Bob Dworkin (USA)

Treasurer               Dr Chris Wells (England)

Secretary               Dr Ed Charlton (England)

Members               Dr Allan Hord (USA)

                                Prof Dr. med Rolf-Detlef Treede


                                Dr Jonathan Dostrovsky (Canada)

                                Dr Troels Staehelin Jensen (Denmark)

                                Dr Gary Strichartz (USA)

        There would be an additional member nominated as the IASP Council liaison person.

        Other nominations and suggestions for change to the management structure would be welcomed from members of the SIG. Please contact the Acting Secretary with any comments or suggestions; this is your SIG – let’s hear your views!


Edmond Charlton

Acting Secretary & Newsletter Editor



On June 28-29, 2002, the inaugural meeting of the German Research Network on Neuropathic Pain (GNNP, in German: DFNS) was held in Munich, with a business meeting and a series of lectures by representatives of the 18 participating research centers in Germany as well as several renowned speakers from other countries. The DFNS is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of an effort to improve the treatment of chronic pain. The activities of the DFNS and opportunities for collaboration may be found on the DFNS website:


Satellite Meeting of the 10th World Congress on Pain

14th August, 2002 Tijuana, Mexico

Co-Chairmen Dr Pedro Bejarano & Professor Turo Nurmikko

For further information and on-line registration