What is Pain Forum?
Pain Forum is an opportunity for clinicians and others with an interest in pain to hear from world leaders in pain research, who present their work and discuss the latest developments. On 10th January 2017, Bath Centre for Pain Services in collaboration with the Pain Health Integration Team are delighted to welcome Allan Basbaum from the University of California, USA.
Cell transplants to treat the “disease” of chronic pain
Allan Basbaum, PhD, FRS, Professor and Chair, Department of Anatomy, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
Who is Allan Basbaum?
Allan Basbaum is professor and chair of the Department of Anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Basbaum received his BSc from McGill University, where he worked with Ronald Melzack, his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, and did postdoctoral research with Patrick Wall at University College London. Dr. Basbaum has served as Treasurer of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and from 2003-2012 he was Editor-in-Chief of PAIN, the journal of the IASP. Dr. Basbaum was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the US National Academy of Medicine. He is also a fellow of the British Academy of Medical Sciences and of the Royal Society in the UK.
What will be presented?
Many chronic pain conditions result from alterations in the how the CNS processes injury messages. In this respect chronic pain is a “disease” of the nervous system, rather than a symptom of other conditions. We study mechanisms by which tissue and nerve injury induce chronic pain, including the genes that code for molecules that transmit injury messages. Recently, we initiated parallel studies that examine the circuits that underlie the production of itch, which like pain, is a stimulus-evoked, highly motivating perception. With the objective of long term management of chronic pain and itch, we are transplanting inhibitory cell precursors into the spinal cord to determine whether re-establishing inhibitory control circuitry lost after injury can treat the “disease” of chronic pain and itch. To date we have shown that the cells indeed integrate into the host and can ameliorate the persistent pain and itch associated with nerve damage.