The DOLORisk project investigating determinants for neuropathic pain kicked off in July 2015. To round up the first year of work, 30 researchers from all 12 members of the consortium gathered at Green Templeton College in Oxford, United Kingdom on 27 and 28 June 2016. The Scientific Advisory Board of the project was represented by Prof Roy Freeman, Dr Lucia Sobrin, Prof Hugh Bostock, and Dr Thomas Klein.

Prof David Bennett, DOLORisk’s Scientific Coordinator, kicked off the meeting with an overview of the project. The consortium then presented and discussed updates on all work packages, covering the following points:

  • Harmonisation of the clinical studies (WP1, David Bennett);
  • Genetic analysis (WP2, Mark McCarthy);
  • Molecular pathways (WP3, Iulia Blesneac);
  • Sensory phenotypes (WP4, Janne Gierthmuehlen);
  • Nerve excitability measures and conditioned pain modulation (WP5, Jordi Serra and David Yarnitsky);
  • Psychosocial factors (WP6, Geert Crombez); - Databasing (WP7, Harry Hebert);
  • Communication (WP9, Mathilde Pascal).

The bulk of the work achieved in the past twelve months has been the harmonisation of the different tests used to determine the presence or absence of neuropathic pain. The consortium spent a lot of efforts on getting ethics approvals for the 7 clinical studies that make up DOLORisk, and recruitment of patients will soon have started in all centres.

To broaden our vision, we invited external experts to join us as members of the Scientific Advisory Board. Dr Sobrin (Harvard Medical School) gave a presentation on the genetics of diabetic retinopathy. The Scientific Advisory Board gave further input on the DOLORisk project at the end of the meeting.

Having all members of the consortium present in Oxford was very helpful to ensure that the project remains well-articulated. The participants had further opportunities to socialise over dinner, while enjoying the panoramic view on Oxford from the eighteenth-century Radcliffe Observatory, and during the England-Iceland football game.

The next annual meeting will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden in June 2017.