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Neuropathic Pain Biodesign Workshop - Oxford

Event details
Thursday, 19 September 2019
9:30 am – 16:30 pm
This workshop will take a biodesign approach and aims to accelerate the development of new neurotechnologies.

Chronic pain is an area of global concern with a prevalence of 11–19% in the adult population. Neuropathic pain is commonly seen in chronic pain sufferers and is caused by a lesion or disease of the somatosensory nervous system and can be a result of changes either centrally as in post-stroke pain, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, or in the periphery as in metabolic painful peripheral neuropathies as in diabetes, chemotherapy, alcoholism, infection,post-surgery as in post thoracotomy neuropathic pain and secondary to other causes. It is often described as a burning, shooting, electric shock like sensation, causing excruciating pain with associated sensitivity to mechanical or thermal stimuli and altered thresholds, which substantially impairs quality of life. A single etiology or specific lesion cannot explain these heterogeneous set of conditions. While regular painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol are generally not effective, specific nerve pain-killers such as anti-epileptics, anti-depressants or opioids are sometimes used but have numerous side effects and might only prove beneficial in one out of four patients.

There is a growing interest in non-pharmaceutical alternatives to manage neuropathic pain. Spinal cord stimulation has been in use for over three decades, is relatively safe, reversible and cost-effective long-term solution to manage neuropathic pain. Newer high frequency devices also provide paraesthesia-free stimulation. Brain computer interfaces can provide neurofeedback for the treatment of central neuropathic pain following injuries to the spinal cord. There have also been exciting recent developments on visual feedback therapies using virtual and augmented reality, optogenetics, transcranial magnetic stimulation techniques etc., to help with pain management for patients with spinal cord injury.

This workshop will take a biodesign approach and aims to bring together clinicians, companies, academics, charities and other stakeholders, to accelerate the development of new neurotechnologies to support effective management and treatment of neuropathic pain.


This event will be held in Oxford, Venue TBC



09:30. Registration and coffee

10:00 Welcome and introduction to the SIG – Drs Charlie Winkworth-Smith and Tim Denison KTN and Oxford

10:10 An Overview of the Biodesign Process – Professor Jeroen Bergmann University of Oxford

10:40 The Chronic Pain Pathway – Dr Tacson Fernandez Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

11:10 Needs Identification – Central Nervous System – Professor Tipu Aziz University of Oxford

11:30 Coffee and First Biodesign Table Event

12:00 Needs Identification – Peripheral Nervous System – Mr Alex Green University of Oxford

12:20 Needs Identification – Non-invasive Systems – Professor Aleksandra Vuckovic Glasgow

12:40 Needs Idenitification – The Entrepreneurial Perspective – Mr Ivor Gillbe Bioinduction

13:00 Lunch and Networking

14:00 Biodesign needs summary – Table themes Activity by all facilitated by table leads

15:00 Coffee break

15:20 Table Report Outs – Summary of needs

15:50 Synthesis of days takeaways and next steps – Professor Jeroen Bergmann University of Oxford

16:10 Closing remarks – Drs Charlie Winkworth-Smith and Tim Denison KTN and Oxford

16:30 Coffee and Networking


Follow the link below to find out more about this event and to register.