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International Association for the Study of Pain
Hands-On Workshops are innovative sessions that provide attendees with opportunities to practice the latest methods and gain hands-on experience to better understand and apply the techniques learned in these workshops and labs to their working practice.
These unique interactive sessions have limited capacity and require additional registration to attend: 

Comprehensive Assessment of Neuropathic Pain: Neurological Exam and Quantitative Sensory Testing Hands-on Workshop

7 September, 7:30 am

The diagnosis of neuropathic pain requires abnormal somatosensory findings that are logically related to the neuroanatomy and are consistent with a specific lesion or disease of the somatosensory nervous system. In addition to obtaining pain history, as well as information on its quality, severity, and interference, the assessment of somatosensory function should comprehensive, to determine the presence of any negative neurological signs (sensory loss) or positive neurological signs (sensory gain).

This hands-on workshop will focus on the key approaches for comprehensive assessment of somatosensory function – which are a) neurological examination, as the gold standard for clinical practice, and b) quantitative sensory testing, which depending on the particular approach, can be performed in the research or clinical settings.

Specifically, one of the workshop stations will be dedicated to neurological examination by an experienced neurologist, two stations will focus on mechanical and thermal aspects of classic quantitative sensory testing, respectively, and another station will specifically focus on bedside QST approaches for more rapid quantitative assessment of somatosensory function.

Separate registration of $199 USD is required to attend this session.

  • Andrea Truini, MD, PhD - Professor of Neurology, University Sapienza
  • Jan Vollert, PhD - Research Fellow, Imperial College London
  • Harriet Kemp, MD, PhD - Clinical Lecturer, Imperial College London
  • Manon Sendel, MD - Resident, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel
  • Roy Freeman, M.B.Ch.B - Professor, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School

View the Full Program for This Hands-On Workshop >

A Practical Approach to Skin Biopsy - From Acquisition to Analysis

8 September, 10:45 am 

One histological hallmark of neuropathies is loss of intraepidermal nerve fibers, as shown by skin punch biopsy from the distal and proximal leg. While the procedure is fast and simple, even small but missteps may lead to clinically relevant misinterpretations. Following standardised guidelines for processing and analysing skin samples should be mandatory to ensure accurate data.

Even so, the literature is filled with heterogeneous and erroneous methodology, making comparison between studies difficult and, in worst cases, leading to inaccurate findings. Advance in methodology has carried skin biopsies far beyond the mere determination of nerve fiber density. It is, for example, possible to distinguish between somatosensory and autonomic nerve fibres, assess sweat gland innervation, quantify morphological abnormalities of the nerve fibers such as axonal swellings, and identify nerve fiber subtypes. Skin punch biopsy also allows the investigation of other cells such as keratinocytes, Langerhans cells, inflammatory cells, glia cells and many more. 

This interactive workshop will teach the audience how to accurately obtain, process, and analyse skin punch biopsies for clinical and research purposes using short presentations, live demonstrations, pre-recorded videos, and on-stage microscopy. 

Separate registration of $99 USD is required to attend this session.
  • Pall R. Karlsson, PhD – Associate professor, Danish Pain Research Center, Aarhus University
  • Roy Freeman, M.B.Ch.B – Professor, Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School
  • Eleonora Galosi, MD, PhD – Neurologist, Department of Human Neuroscience, “La Sapienza” University 

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