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Friday, May 28, 2010

Attending the Meeting were the five co-chairs of the Pain Consortium and numerous Program Staff and several guests.

Amy Adams (NIDCR) presented an overview of the Health Care Reform Act 2010 as it related to the pain consortium. Dr. Story Landis and Dr. Lawrence Tabak have been asked to co-lead the implementation of its requirements. There are three provisions that directly apply to the Pain Consortium: (1) a contract with the Institute of Medicine to have a conference on Pain, with a report of findings completed by June 30, 2011; (2) establishment of an Interagency Pain Research coordinating Committee, and (3) annual recommendations by the Pain Consortium and the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiates (DPCPSI) on appropriate pain research initiatives.

Josephine Briggs, Director of NCCAM, presented on the Workshop on Deconstructing Back Painwhich took place on May 10–11, 2010 in Rockville, MD. This two-day workshop provided an opportunity for individuals from a wide range of specialties to come together and discuss various elements of back pain. The workshop highlighted (1) the importance of coming up with more consistent tools to identify and grade the severity of pain, (2) a consensus development process for a diagnostic scheme, and (3) the development of useful outcome measures. A summary of the meeting will be posted on the Pain Consortium Website within the next 10 weeks. Dr. Briggs mentioned the possibility of forming a working group to come up with strong recommendations, and mentioned a discussion with NIAMS regarding setting up a State of the Science on Back Pain Imaging conference. NCCAM leadership drew on this discussion to formulate the 2010 Strategic Plan. Members of the public were welcome to attend and observe.

Linda Porter (NINDS) provided an update on the NINDS Workshop, NIH Headache Research Planning Meeting, which was an invitation-only meeting that took place in Bethesda on May 16-17th. The group formulated several recommendations for headache planning, including increasing training and collaboration in the headache field.

Dave Thomas (NIDA) provided an update on a study of Medical/Dental School and Pain Education in the U.S. The group found that while most medical/dental schools did include pain in the curriculum when teaching about related diseases, only one medical school had a full course dedicated to pain. NIDA proposed a workshop, to be held in September 2010, to discuss pain education in medical/dental schools, and asked for the support of the Pain Symposium.

Sue Marden (NINR) discussed the reissuance of the PA entitled Mechanisms, Models, Measurement, and Management in Pain Research. She mentioned that the reissuance focuses on chronic pain and the transition from acute to chronic pain. Pain Consortium booths at various conferences have featured this PA.

Ray Dionne, Scientific Director , NINR presented a summary of the NINR Pain Methodologies Boot Camp, a one-week intensive research training course at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, sponsored by NINR. The course is administered by the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) as one of the Bio-Trac programs. The Pain Boot Camp provides a foundation in pain methodology for use in research. The purpose of the course is to increase the research capability of graduate students and faculty. The course will feature lectures by distinguished guest speakers, classroom discussion, and laboratory training. The course is provided by the NINR at no cost. Attendees are required to pay for housing, food, and transportation expenses incurred during program participation.

John Kusiak (NIDCR) provided an update on the NIDCR sponsored Workshop on Genetics of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder And Comorbid Chronic Pain Conditions: Current Status and Next Steps. At this workshop, there was a recommendation to hold a workshop to come up with appropriate phenotypes to use for genetic studies on pain. These could range from the use of a visual analog scale to highly detailed phenotyping. The importance of the use of high-throughput screening, data-sharing, and building a community was highlighted. Several Instutes expressed interest in participating.

Wen Chen (NIA) proposed an NIA workshop entitled Pharmacological Management of Chronic Pain in Older Adults Panel Discussion. This working group would assess guidelines issued by the American Geriatrics Society for pain treatment in patients 75 years and older, as well as discuss research needs, knowledge gaps, strategies for leveraging existing databases, and new studies that could advance pain management research. She asked for support of the Pain Consortium.

John Kusiak provided background and asked for the Pain Consortium’s support on establishing NIH - Veterans Administration Collaborations. He and Woody Lin from NIDA will work together to develop several models of collaboration between the two agencies.