Chronic, persistent pain affects millions of people worldwide, significantly impairing health and well-being and is the most common symptom for which patients seek medical help. In Ireland, over half a million people suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis.
President Ó Muircheartaigh in opening the Centre said, "The CPR will help ensure that the topic of pain has a national profile and will also provide another route by which NUI Galway plays a leadership role in health-related research and policy developments in Ireland."
As Ireland's first dedicated centre for research into pain, the CPR incorporates researchers from a range of disciplines and is organised into the following five clusters:
- Pre-clinical research
- Psychological and neuropsychological aspects of pain
- Pain treatment and pain management
- Population and policy aspects of pain
- Integration of pre-clinical pain research and clinical practice
Dr. David Finn and Dr Brian McGuire, Joint Directors of the Centre said, "This is a very exciting and important development which puts Galway very firmly on the national and international pain research map"
To mark the launch, guest speakers included two internationally renowned experts in pain research. Professor Chris Main, a clinical psychologist and author of several authoritative multidisciplinary pain management textbooks from University of Keele, who gave a keynote address on Psychosocial barriers to effective pain management and Professor Irene Tracey, a recognised leader in the neuroimaging of pain who leads the fMRI unit at University of Oxford, who spoke on Advances in Pain Neuroimaging.
In the working population, lower back pain is responsible for more disability than cancer, heart disease, stroke and AIDS combined. One in six people in Ireland suffering from pain has lost a job because of their condition and pain costs the Irish economy over € 1.2 million per week in disability benefit payments alone (Pain in Europe Study, 2003).