The PAINSTORM consortium brings together experts in neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain affects 8% of the population and is caused by damage to the sensory nervous system (through conditions such as diabetes, chemotherapy and HIV). It is increasingly common as a consequence of the ageing population, increasing levels of diabetes and enhanced cancer survival.
Neuropathic pain has a major negative impact on quality of life. Unfortunately, current management options are inadequate as they are only effective in a small subgroup of patients. Additionally, whilst the impact of neuropathic pain is multidimensional, most research and clinical management in this area is separate rather than being interdisciplinary. They over-emphasise pharmacological approaches, often associated with side effects, rather than taking a more holistic approach addressing the complex social and psychological aspects of neuropathic pain.
To rectify this situation we need to understand the mechanisms driving neuropathic pain in patients. In order to do so, PAINSTORM uses a broad range of approaches cutting across traditional disciplinary boundaries, to uncover the causes of neuropathic pain and understand how they interact.
This inter-disciplinary collaboration will include people living with neuropathic pain (embedding patient and public involvement), scientists from diverse clinical and scientific backgrounds, and industry expertise to help translate the research into effective, multifaceted interventions.
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