The Division of Neuroscience (DN), in collaboration with DGCG, DBSR, and the NIH Pain Consortium, organized an exploratory workshop on “Mechanisms and Management of Pain in the Elderly,” which took place in Bethesda, MD, on June 30 and July 1, 2008. Pain is one of the most common reasons for physician visits in general and costs associated with pain are extremely high. The prevalence of pain among elderly in the age range of 75-86 years is at least 5 times as high as the prevalence in the 25-34 years age group. Despite recent growth in the understanding of the molecular entities and pathways involved in pain sensation in the periphery and central nervous system, few of these advances have been translated into understandings of the mechanisms, assessment and treatment of pain conditions relevant to the elderly population. This exploratory workshop convened leading experts in various aspects of pain research as well as geriatricians working on issues related to pain to identify the gaps, barriers, and opportunities for aging research on pain mechanisms, assessment, and treatment/management.
Dr. Wen G. Chen