As our world becomes increasingly digital, our healthcare services will adapt and take advantage of the new opportunties this opens up. At the same time, our patients will continue to expect human contact. With the average increase in life expectancy, as well as new treatments being available to cure or control different diseases, comorbidities are becoming more and more prevalent in most chronic diseases. As we are well aware, stress, insomnia, and depression are all comorbidities relevant to pain. Taking into account these issues, the theme for the #EFIC2022 Congress in Dublin, Ireland is “Targeting pain and its comorbidities in the Digital Age“.

Recent decades have seen significant progress in basic and translational research raising new hopes for the treatment of painful conditions. Advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms of disease have opened many avenues for the discovery of novel and innovative medicines.

Here are three:

1. Stem cells. The role of stem cells in drug discovery has received increasing attention. The term stem cell is used when referring to cells with the capacity to self-new or give rise to more copies of themselves and have the potential of differentiation into functional cell types.

2. Systemic neurotransmitter responses. Research linking drugs with their predicted molecular interactions offers insights into more targeted approaches. Many effective drugs “hit” multiple sensitive nodes belonging to a network of neurotransmitter systems and interacting targets. These drugs offers the potential for higher efficacy and may limit drawbacks such as side effects generally arising from the use of a single-target drug or a combination of multiple drugs.

3. Biologics. Biologics such as those that inhibit β-nerve growth factor (NGF) are very effective for reducing musculoskeletal pain, and represent a novel treatment going forward. However, they have been associated with adverse events of unclear aetiology. Several studies are trying clarify the relative benefits and risks of biologics for musculoskeletal conditions.

These presentations will focus on novel tools for pain relief in the 2020s at #EFIC2022:





Wednesday 27 April 2022



Current medical management, and new therapeutic perspectives for painful diabetic polyneuropathy

Nadine Attal (France)

11.20 – 11.45

(25 mins)

Thursday 28 April 2022

Implementing virtual reality and robotics to investigate the dynamic interplay between fear, avoidance, and pain-related attention

Ann Meulders (Netherlands)

09.30 – 09.55

(25 mins)

Look good, feel good: can virtually enhancing physical appearance and capability help people in pain?

Daniel Harvie (Australia)

09.55 – 10.20

(25 mins)

Advances in exercise-based virtual and mediated reality for chronic pain

Tasha Stanton (Australia)

10.20 – 10.45

(25 mins)

Stem cells for drug discovery

Zameel Cader (United Kingdom)

12.30 – 12.50

(20 mins)

Systemic neurotransmitter responses to CNS drugs

Hamid Noori (Germany)

12.50 – 13.10

(20 mins)

Biologics: Basic research and clinical evidence

Nancy E Lane (United Kingdom)

13.10 – 13.30

(20 mins)

Cluster headache, new drug treatment strategies, in particular the roe of anti-CGRP

Koen Paemeleire (Belgium)

14.30 – 14.55

(25 mins)

Cluster headache, new non-drug treatment strategies, in particular the role of non-invasive and invasive stimulation techniques

Manjit Matharu (United Kingdom)

14.55 – 15.20

(25 mins)

Occipital nerve stimulation in medically intractable chronic cluster headache (ICON study), short and long term results

Frank Huygen (Netherlands)

15.20 – 15.45

25 mins)

Pain science education in the digital age: Presentation of a new, app-based program for breast cancer survivors with persistent pain

An De Groef (Belgium)

15.20 – 15.45

(25 mins)

Saturday, 30 April 2022

Prevalence of use of plants for pain, evidence chasms and concerns

Andrew Moore (United Kingdom)

10.45 – 11.05

(20 mins)

Highlights of naturally occurring terpenes and flavonoids in drug discovery for pain

Vânia M. Moreira (Portugal)

11.05 – 11.25

(20 mins)

Liquorice for pain?

Rae Frances Bell (Norway)

11.25 – 11.40

(15 mins)

Herbal medicine interactions with drugs used in pain management

Rae Frances Bell (Norway)

11.40 – 11.55

(15 mins)


Register now for the largest European scientific congress on pain. The early bird deadline is on 15 February, 2022.