The universal phenomenon
of pain causes tremendous human suffering and compromises individual
quality of life and collective social productivity. Thirty percent of
the U.S. population experiences chronic pain at some level. Of those
affected, 50-60% are dramatically disabled for a few days, several months,
or the remainder of their lives. Recent estimated pain-related financial
losses exceed $100 billion/year. Control of pain is possible in some,
but not all, chronic pain patients. Pain of neuropathic origin is often
refractory to any traditional methods of treatment.
The Minnesota Center
for Pain Research spans both collegiate and disciplinary boundaries
at the University of Minnesota. The membership of the center parallels
that of the
International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and, like
IASP, includes: scientists, physicians, dentists, psychologists,
nurses, physical therapists, and other health professionals actively
engaged in pain research and to those who have special interest in
diagnosis and treatment of pain. IASP is an international, multidisciplinary,
non-profit professional association dedicated to furthering research
on pain and improving the care of patients with pain. It is considered
the highest authority on pain treatment and research in the world.
IASP has 6943 individual members from 95 countries. Most, if not all,
of the University of Minnesota Pain Faculty are currently members
The Minnesota Center
for Pain Research provides the U of MN Pain Faculty a vehicle for
carrying out some of the objectives of IASP on a local level, including:
* To foster and encourage
research of pain mechanisms and pain syndromes and to help improve the
management of patients with acute and chronic pain by bringing together
basic scientists, physicians, and other health professionals of various
disciplines and backgrounds who have interest in pain research and management.
* To promote education
and training in the field of pain.
* To inform the general
public of results and implications of current research in the area.
The University of Minnesota
Center for Pain Research is supported by an IRSCA Award made by the Office
of the Vice-President for Research.