Key Dates

21 July 2013
On site registration opens

Further key dates

Understanding the brain mechanisms of chronic pain

Date & Venue

1415 - 1615
Lecture Theatre: 
Hall 5 (The ICC)

Sponsored by The Chinese Association of Physiological Sciences

The problems of pain, in particular, chronic pain, are an increasing burden on healthcare systems and society at large. Population-based epidemiological studies suggest 20-30% people over the globe suffer from chronic pain and/or pain-associated morbidities, such as insomnia, amnesia, cognitive decline, disabilities, and even depression. Although knowledge of molecular and cellular mechanisms of nociception at the levels of nociceptors (pain sensors) and the spinal cord dorsal horn has been greatly gained in the past several decades, the mechanisms of pain, especially chronic pain, at cortical and subcortical levels are still less known. In this symposium, the following questions will be addressed: (1) How many faces of pain in the brain? This is a fundamental question open for discussion. The audience will learn, at least, that pain has multiple dimensions of the brain functions, including sensory-discriminative, affective-motivational, and cognitive-evaluative aspects. (2) How is noxious information produced by peripheral tissue or nerve damage processed by the brain? Neuroimaging studies can tell that acute or physiological pain may be probably represented and processed by a hierarchically-interconnected neural network in the brain (so-called ‘pain matrix’), however, the brain becomes more complicated under chronic or pathological pain conditions. (3) What is the impact of chronic pain on the brain functions? There is increasing body of evidence showing that pain, when becomes persistent or chronic, may cause not only sensory dysfunctions (spontaneous pain, hyperalgesia and allodynia), but also various brain dysfunctions such as anxiety, insomnia, amnesia, and depression, leading to maladaptive behaviors of pain. (4) Are there any spatial and temporal synaptic changes at the cortical and subcortical levels responsible for the maladaptive behaviors of pain? In this 2 h-session, there will be five advanced lectures given by three senior and two junior internationally-renowned pain researchers working in this challenging field.

Jun Chen
The Fourth Military Medical University (Xi’an)
Irene Tracey
University of Oxford
United Kingdom
Neuroimaging of pain in the human brain
14.15 - 14.45
Irene Tracey
University of Oxford
United Kingdom
Molecular correlates of pain in the anterior cingulate cortex
14.45 - 15.00
Long-Jun Wu
Rutgers University
United States
Maladaptive brain plasticity in pain: amygdala and prefrontal cortex
15.00 - 15.30
Volker Neugebauer
University of Texas Medical Branch
United States
Central neuronal mechanisms underlying the central post stroke pain
15.30 - 15.45
Bai Chuang Shyu
Institute of Biomedical Sciences
Taiwan, Province of China
Functional changes in entorhinal-hippocampal circuits may contribute to pain-associated object recognition memory impairment
15.45 - 16.15
Jun Chen
The Fourth Military Medical University
Integrative Neurophysiology
Sensory Functions
Somatosensory Physiology