Ellipse: NeuP



     NEWSLETTER of the IASP Special Interest Group on Neuropathic Pain


Issue 3                                                                                                                                                                  June 2003



Turo J. Nurmikko, MD

Pain Research Institute

Clinical Sciences Building

University Hospital Aintree

Liverpool L9 7AL  UK


Vice Chair

Robert H. Dworkin, PhD

Department of Anesthesiology

University of Rochester Medical Center

601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 604

Rochester, NY 14642  USA



Christopher D. Wells, MB ChB, FFARCS

45a Rodney Street

Liverpool L1 9EW  UK


Secretary /Newsletter Editor

J. Edmond Charlton, MB BS, FRCA

5 Woodbine Avenue


Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 4EU  UK

Email: edmond.charlton@btinternet.com


IASP Council Liaison Person

Troels S. Jensen, MD, PhD

Department of Neurology

Aarhus University Hospital

8000 Aarhus  Denmark


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.

Educational Initiatives Start SIG activity for 2003


Three major meetings on neuropathic pain are to be held as part of our educational activity. Preliminary details of two of these are announced for the first time in this newsletter.


San Francisco Meeting


Firstly, here are details of a meeting that is already well established. Members are aware of the highly successful programs run by the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. These are sponsored jointly by the University of Rochester and the SIG. The title and venue of the sixth in the series is:


Mechanisms and Treatment of Neuropathic Pain

September 18 - 20, 2003

San Francisco Hyatt Regency, Embarcadero, California USA


Once again, our Vice Chair, Dr. Bob Dworkin has put together a fine scientific program and one that is designed to be different from competing pain meetings. The speakers at this meeting will review our understanding of mechanisms of neuropathic pain and how these may improve clinical treatment. Information concerning recent clinical trials and emerging treatments will be presented and the obvious importance of this to clinicians is that treatment algorithms may need revision in the light of this recent work.


There will be plenty of opportunity to interact with the faculty. There is to be a session discussing whether fibromyalgia is a neuropathic pain problem, as well as a round table on maximizing research benefits by collaboration between academia, industry and government. The deadline for reduced registration is August 15, 2003. Full details can be obtained from the Conference Secretariat (Telephone: 585-275-4392 or Email: office@cpe.rochester.edu). 


Madrid Meeting


Keeping up to date with recent work on the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain and understanding the clinical implications is a theme that will be repeated throughout the SIG’s educational efforts. The Management Committee feels it is important to ensure this message is brought to the widest possible audience and hence the proposal to hold a major meeting in a European venue. It is our pleasure to announce that arrangements are now well advanced for us to hold a meeting entitled:


Neuropathic Pain - Changing Paradigms in Diagnosis and Treatment

May 13 - 16, 2004

Madrid, Spain

Chairman of the Scientific Program Committee, Rolf-Detlef Treede, has already confirmed that many world class speakers will take part. These include Ralf Baron, Jörgen Boivie, James N. Campbell, Troels S. Jensen, Michael Rowbotham, Claudia Sommer, Thomas R. Tölle and Clifford J. Woolf. We are awaiting confirmation of the participation of other household names. The meeting will follow the trusted and true format of major IASP meetings. The backbone of the scientific program will be nearly a dozen plenary sessions, three dozen topical workshops and, of course, poster presentations. This will be a program designed to fulfill the aim of NeuPSIG,“to advance the understanding of mechanisms, assessment, prevention and treatment of neuropathic pain.”


More than 500 IASP members have joined NeuPSIG and this meeting will bring to those attending the latest and most up-to-date information from the best sources. It will be an important milestone for basic scientists, clinical scientists and practicing clinicians from all disciplines with an interest in furthering the understanding and care of patients with neuropathic pain.


The enthusiasm of Rolf-Detlef and his scientific program committee is matched, if not exceeded, by the ebullient Pedro Bejarano, who is in charge of the local arrangements committee. As many of you will know, Madrid is one of the great capital cities of Europe boasting many great monuments and a splendid downtown area dating back to the Habsburg Empire as well as the world-renowned Prado Museum. Pedro is keen to point out that Madrid is not just a cultural destination; it is also a lively and sophisticated city offering a vast range of pubs, cafes, fine restaurants and clubs open late into the night.


Madrid is an ideal location in which to relax after the science and discuss matters with colleagues. In addition, it is an ideal base to see more of the many wonders of Spain should you wish to extend your stay. More details of this meeting will be given in the next newsletter but you are guaranteed to hear about the latest advances on basic science and clinical research in neuropathic pain.



Uluru Meeting


The 2005 IASP World Congress on Pain in Sydney will be the trip of a lifetime for many SIG members. To make it even more memorable the SIG has made ambitious plans to hold a satellite meeting at Uluru (formerly known as Ayres Rock).


Satellite Meeting of the 11th World Congress on Pain

August 17 - 20, 2005

Uluru, Australia




Chairman of the Scientific Program Committee Allen Hord has come up with a format that will have a packed program featuring shorter (30 minute) lectures that will permit maximum educational material to be presented in the short time available. Once again the emphasis is on providing a program that will appeal to both clinicians and to those in other disciplines. The program is to be structured to permit the introduction of “hot” topics that may emerge between then and now.


Despite the intensity of the program, there will still be sufficient time to allow registrants and their partners to enjoy the unique wonders of this Natural and Cultural World Heritage Site. Uluru is situated in central Australia in southwest Northern Territory. Alice Springs is 335km to the northwest. Added to the World Heritage Site list in 1987, Uluru is one of the biggest monoliths in the world and rises approximately 340m above the desert to reach 862.5m above sea level.


August is winter at Uluru and the main time for visiting this area. Mean daily minimum and maximum temperatures are 4°C and 20°C respectively, although frosts have been reported! The park, and in particular the Uluru monolith, is one of several equally important and interconnected centres of local and religious significance for the Aborigine peoples. The timing of the meeting has been coordinated to allow attendees to get back to Sydney in plenty of time to book into their hotels before the Refresher Course and the start of the 11th World Congress on Pain.


So make a note in your diaries for the San Francisco, Madrid and Uluru satellite meetings





·         The finances remain in a healthy state with a small surplus being retained from the Tijuana meeting. The balance as of March 31, 2003 was US$59,095. We were able to make the planned donation to the Mexican Pain Society of US$3,676, as well.


·         The most recent meeting of the Management Committee decided to set up sub-committees to look at various aspects of neuropathic pain. The planned committees cover Classification, Assessment and Treatment.


·         Plans for a Web site are well advanced and Dr. Thomas Tölle has been given the responsibility for this. More news on this initiative will be in the next newsletter.


Draft Constitution and Bylaws


At the first Annual General Meeting of the SIG, the need for a proper constitution was discussed. Members attending the Annual General Meeting agreed that the Mission Statement should be as follows:


The SIG will advance the understanding of mechanisms, assessment, prevention and treatment of neuropathic pain.


It was further agreed that the Aims and Objectives of the SIG should be as follows:


Ÿ         Collaboration for basic and clinical research

Ÿ         The study of the underlying mechanisms of neuropathic pain

Ÿ         The exchange of information and experience about the assessment and treatment of neuropathic pain

Ÿ         The identification and implementation of programs to prevent the development of neuropathic pain

Ÿ         Furthering the educational objectives of the SIG via international meetings, an annual symposium, workshops at the IASP World Congress on Pain®, Congress satellite meetings, a newsletter and the IASP Web site.


The following Draft Constitution and Bylaws are presented for comments by members. After incorporation of these, where appropriate, a formal document will be presented for approval at the next Annual General Meeting during the 2005 Sydney World Congress on Pain. The Management Committee will be delighted to receive your comments and suggestions. These should be sent to the Secretary, Dr. Ed Charlton via email at: edmond.charlton@ btinternet.com) or in writing to 1, The Wynding, Bamburgh, Northumberland NE69 7DB UK.


Article 1. Membership and Dues


1.1    Membership

Membership shall be open to all members of IASP.


1.2    Annual Dues

The level of annual dues shall be proposed by officers of the SIG and approved by the membership in accordance with IASP guidelines.


1.3    Termination of Membership

Members can terminate their membership by a written request to the Chair of the SIG. Membership will be deemed to have lapsed after non-payment of dues for fourteen months.


Article 2. Meetings


2.1 General Meetings

The SIG will hold a general meeting to conduct and approve the business of the SIG. This will be held every third year in conjunction with the IASP World Congress on Pain.


2.2 Extraordinary Meetings

An extraordinary meeting can be convened at any time at the request of the Executive Committee or twenty five (25) or more members of the SIG in good standing.


2.3 Notice of Meetings

Notice of general and extraordinary meetings of the SIG will be provided to the membership in writing at least twenty eight (28) days prior to the date of the meeting.


2.4 Quorum

Fifteen (15) members of the SIG in good standing shall constitute a quorum at any general or extraordinary meeting.


2.5 Scientific Meetings

Scientific or professional meetings will be held on a regular basis in accordance with the Aims and Objectives of the SIG and will be organized and financed by the SIG. These may be held at the request of a national or regional chapter of IASP, jointly with other educational bodies or as separate events. Such meetings shall not conflict with other IASP activities and will be open to all IASP members on a space-available basis. The SIG will contribute to IASP educational activities as requested.


Article 3. Officers


3.1 Officers

The SIG officers shall be a Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. All officers must be members of IASP and the SIG in good standing. These officers shall constitute an Executive Committee. They may propose dues and will function as the administrative body of the SIG.


3.2 Terms of Office

The term of office of all officers shall be three years. The term of office shall be from the general meeting at which they were elected until the next general meeting at the subsequent Congress. Officers may be re-elected for a further three year period. Thereafter, there must be a lapse of three years before they are eligible for re-election to any post.


3.3 Election of Officers

Candidates should be proposed and seconded in written or electronic format by members of IASP and the SIG in good standing. The nomination should be accompanied by the agreement of the candidate to take part in an election and to serve if elected. Nominations should be made to the Executive Committee twenty eight (28) days prior to the general meeting. Election of officers shall be by means of a ballot, with a simple majority vote of members attending the general meeting deciding the successful candidates.



3.4 Removal of Officers

Any officer who fails to attend three consecutive business meetings without reasonable cause or who fails to pay dues shall be removed from office.


3.5 Resignations

Resignations of officers should be made in written or electronic format and submitted to the Chair.


3.6 Vacancies

Vacancies in the Executive Committee (with the exception of the Chair) shall be filled from the membership of the SIG. Nominations should be proposed and seconded as in Section

3.2. In the event of multiple nominations the remaining members of the Executive Committee will elect the new officer.


3.7 Chair

The Chair shall be responsible for running the affairs of the SIG. These duties will include the conduct of general and extraordinary meetings, submitting an annual report to the IASP Secretariat and carrying out any other duties that are consistent with the aims and objectives of the SIG.


3.8 Vice Chair

The duties of the Vice Chair are to assist the Chair in the performance of the duties listed under Section 3.7. The Vice Chair will assume the position of Chair in the event of absence, vacancy or resignation of the Chair.


3.9 Treasurer

The duties of this post are to oversee and maintain the funds of the SIG. The Treasurer will recommend measures to the Executive Committee to ensure the prudent and appropriate use of SIG funds and will present an annual report to the membership of the SIG in the newsletter or by electronic means and shall make a further formal report at the general meeting.


3.10 Secretary

The duties of this post are to support the Chair in the administration of the SIG. The Secretary shall be responsible for the minutes of meetings, the maintenance of bylaws and will correspond as appropriate with IASP and the membership of the SIG via written or electronic means.


Article 4. Committees


4.1 Aims and Objectives

Standing committees will be established at the discretion of the Executive Committee at general or extraordinary meetings to pursue the aims and objectives of the SIG. Ad hoc committees for a specific purpose may be created by the Executive Committee at any time. All ad hoc committees shall cease to exist after each general meeting.


4.2. Composition

All committees shall have a minimum of five and maximum of 12 members of the SIG. In addition, the Chair and Honorary Secretary are members of all committees ex officio.


4.3 Appointment to Committees

The Executive Committee will appoint members to committees. The term of appointment is three years. Members may be re-appointed. Appointment to the Executive Committee is covered in Section 3.2.


4.4 Co-option to Committees

Any SIG committee shall have the power to co-opt specialist advisors. Co-opted membership of any committee shall cease after each general meeting. Co-opted members will not have voting rights on that committee.


The SIG shall have the following standing committees:


·         Executive (see Article 3)

·         Management


The Management Committee will oversee the administrative, financial and educational activity of the SIG. The Management Committee shall hold a meeting at least annually to review current and future activity within the SIG and will be chaired by a member selected by the Executive Committee.


Membership of the committee shall reflect the multidisciplinary and international nature of the SIG where possible. A report of this meeting shall be made to the membership in the newsletter or by electronic means.


Article 5. Finances


5.1 Financial Responsibilities

The SIG is responsible for financial support of all its activities, including meetings.


5.2 Dues

The annual dues payment to the SIG shall be determined by the Executive Committee. Collection of the annual dues payment shall be included in the member’s IASP annual dues payment and these funds will be held by IASP in a restricted account for the exclusive use of the SIG. The SIG will not collect membership dues independently and may not collect such dues on behalf of IASP.


Article 6. Amendments to the Bylaws


6.1 Amendments

Proposals to amend the Bylaws must be made in writing to the Executive Committee. These will be announced to all SIG members and submitted to a vote at either the next business or extraordinary meeting at which a quorum of members is present. Approval will be by a simple majority of members present.


Edmond Charlton, Secretary, NeupSIG.