Monday, January 13, 2014

The Brain: Adaptation and Maladaptation in Chronic Pain, June 15-20, 2014, Keystone Resort, Keystone, Colorado, USA

SIGNIFICANCE: The Institutes of Medicine indicate that pain affects more than 100 million Americans and costs more than an estimated $540-630 billion, a number predicted to only increase as our population ages and is influenced by lifestyle. We have few effective treatments for migraine or chronic pain. 

GOALS: Understanding the complexities of brain circuits involved in pain and migraine headache has been a major challenge in neurobiology that has limited the discovery of new therapies. For decades, the pain and headache communities have separately focused on peripheral mechanisms. 

INNOVATION: This conference brings together the world's leading experts in brain systems neuroscience to highlight the advances in understanding brain systems relevant to the neurobiology of migraine and chronic pain. We wish to explore neurobiology of pain and headache together with contributions and attendance from both communities. 

APPROACH: A conversation of a number of new technologies has opened new opportunities to better understand the neural networks involved in the emotional, cognitive and sensory components of pain and consequent suffering. New technologies have opened doors to revolutionize our concepts of the impact of pain on the brain. 

OPPORTUNITY: Bringing together scientists from different disciplines related to, but not exclusively connected to pain and headache as a key to integration and bridging of disciplines and advancement of knowledge in these areas of clinical need. Accumulating functional and imaging data implicate headache and chronic pains as diseases of the brain – either primarily or secondarily as a consequence of peripheral damage. 

OUTCOME: We are at an exciting moment in the neurosciences where new understanding of brain function promises to change paradigms for drug discovery for neurological disorders. The promise is great, and the next decade of brain sciences research will redefine disease states, including predictive and personalized medicine, allow imaging the brain during pain and its relief by treatments in the individual patients suffering from pain.