Professor Christopher Eccleston, the director of the Bath Centre for Pain Research, this week presents recent data on advances in understanding the causes of persistent nerve pain in adults.
Seven per cent of adults in the UK are believed to have pain that arises from damaged nerves, with as many as five per cent reporting severe pain.
So called “neuropathic” pain can be caused by disease (e.g. cancer), from accident (e.g. amputation) or from causes we have yet to discover (e.g. facial pain). Neuropathic pain is one of the most challenging forms of pain problem, being very difficult to manage. It can destroy people’s lives, leaving them struggling to find ways to cope.
This week, the world’s experts gather in Athens at the International Neuropathic Pain Meeting to share advances in pharmacological, surgical, physical, and psychological treatments.
Professor Eccleston will present findings from his work on attentional mechanisms of analgesia, and the use of attention as possible new targets for pharmacological intervention.
He will also contribute to a debate on the use of strong painkillers for people with chronic pain, focussing on the barriers to treatment effectiveness.
The Centre for Pain Research is a centre of excellence in research focussing in four main areas:
- The Centre leads the campaign to improve the evidence base for treatments of pain, and Professor Eccleston is coordinating editor of the Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Cochrane Review Group.
- The Centre is pioneering the exploration of innovative uses of new communication technologies for use in delivering behaviour change treatments.
- The Centre focuses on the needs of adolescents with chronic pain, and those of their parents.
- There is strong interest in both laboratory and clinical studies of the causes of persistent pain and disability.
The Centre for Pain Research is a fully self-funded enterprise relying on grant support and charitable giving.