Thursday, September 22nd
Pain in Special Populations
Pain and Injury in Childhood: Impact on Somatosensory Function
The developing nervous system is sensitive to altered activity, and pain and injury may have persistent effects that differ from those seen following the same exposure at older ages. This presentation will outline associations between pain at different developmental stages, following different forms of illness/injury, and subsequent somatosensory function. Longitudinal studies in an extremely-preterm birth cohort identified changes in sensory threshold that were more marked following neonatal surgery, with emergence of sex differences in late adolescence. Laboratory studies allow comparison of the efficacy of potential preventive interventions. A range of conditions in childhood (eg. genetic disorders, surgery, chemotherapy) produce peripheral neuropathic pain during adolescence. Quantitative sensory testing identified distinct sensory profiles (mechanical hyperalgesia, thermal hyperalgesia, sensory loss) that may improve recognition and management.