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NeuroNET Spring Symposium Features Pain and Opiates

UTGSM Medicine Conference 2015The NeuroNET Spring Symposium, featuring, "Pain and Opiates: Neuronal Mechanisms, Behavioral Consequences, and Societal Impact," will be held April 8-9 in the Toyota Auditorium at the Baker Center on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus.

The NIH notes on its website, "Chronic pain is a major public health problem, which is estimated to affect more than 100 million people in the United States and about 20-30 percent of the population worldwide. The fact that one third of Americans have lives that are altered by chronic pain helps explain why the economic impact of chronic pain is estimated to be as high as $630 billion per year."

Center for Disease Control statistics on its website illustrate the profound societal impact of the increase in opiate prescriptions. In 2012, health care providers wrote 295 million prescriptions for painkillers, "enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills. Each day 46 people die from an overdose of prescription painkillers in the U.S., and 10 of the highest prescribing states for painkillers are in the South." Tennessee ranked second highest after Alabama among that group of 10 states.

Featured speakers include James Eisenach, MD, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Tim Brennan, MD, PhD, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine; Michael Smith, PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Kelly Conrad, PhD, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd.; Ted Jones, PhD, CPE, Pain Consultants of East Tennessee; James Choo, MD, Pain Consultants of East Tennessee Functional Rehabilitation; Georgia Tourassi, PhD, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The symposium is sponsored by a Haines Morris Endowment Award, NeuroNET, the Kavli Foundation, the UT Graduate School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology, and the Brain and Spine Institute.

Posted April 2, 2015


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