Journal Club Meeting March 24, 2015

Time:  11:30am – 1:00pm

Location: Dental Sciences Building, Room D7-11


The descending control of pain was a major focus of research in the 1970’s and 80’s and throughout history has been used to explain such things as acupuncture analgesia, the placebo effect, the mechanism of antidepressant drugs and deep brain stimulation. In recent years the dysfunction of descending pathways has been used as an explanation for the transition from acute to chronic  pain and the maintenance of chronic pain states. Not to be ignored in all of the discussion of descending pain control is the fact that descending pathways were originally described as having a prominent role in the control of motor function including reflex pathways in the spinal cord. Our understanding of the anatomy, physiology and pharmacology of descending pathways and their role in the control of pain has evolved over more than three decades of research. Have we learned everything we need to know? Are there questions that still need to be answered? These questions were addressed in two recent papers that outline why we still need to study descending pain modulation (see attached) and what some of the important plastic changes are that occur in descending pathways which may be responsible for the emergence of chronic pain conditions (see attached).  It appears that descending control of pain is not about to leave us and these recent studies provide a platform for what should be an interesting discussion that will be led by Dr. Yenisel Cruz-Almeida.

I want to remind everyone that pain journal club is a great educational opportunity that provides something for all who attend. I encourage all students, trainees and faculty to attend and present papers in their area of interest. I guarantee you that no matter what the topic there will always be an interesting discussion.

Please circulate to those you think might be interested in this topic!!

Hope to see everyone next week!!

descending control
pag and chronic pain