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Friday February 18, 2022 at 07:00

Investigating the pain

“The Pain Detectives”, a joint initiative by Grünenthal and URJC professor Carlos Goicoechea, is a series of webinars whose objective is to focus on a subject as important as pain.

Daria Efimova

Pain is a universal experience for all human beings. Something we feel at some point in our life. However, we do not always understand where it comes from, or what implication it may have on our physical or mental health; or how deep, for example, a person's chronic pain can be.

From this interest and desire to shed light on the matter, “The Pain Detectives” was born, a series of webinars created by Grünenthal and endorsed by the Rey Juan Carlos University. Its main objective is, through dialogue with different Spanish researchers, to make the latest advances in the knowledge of pain known to the public. The coordinator of the activity is Carlos Goicoechea García, professor at the Rey Juan Carlos University in the area of ​​pharmacology and one of the organizers, who will participate as a moderator in all the webinars. 

The interview with Ángel Torrado Carvajal, coordinator of the Electronic Technology Area and Technical Manager of the URJC Medical Image Analysis and Biometrics Laboratory, which serves as an introduction to this series, It is now available in the Web page. The recordings of the webinars will take place in the Museum of the Faculty of Health Sciences, on the Alcorcón campus of the Rey Juan Carlos University.

The first chapter, "opening channels”, will take place on February 22. It will include the participation of researchers María Carmen Ruiz Cantero, from the University of Granada, and Félix Viana de la Iglesia, from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche-CSIC, who are studying how neuronal channels can be modulated and whether this can serve to control pain. 

An aspect of our day to day

Carlos Goicoechea has been researching pain for 25 years. In this time, the perception and treatment of the medical community on the matter has evolved remarkably. "For many years, pain was considered a symptom of something, not a condition in itself," explains the professor. "But chronic pain is an unresolved disease, and we don't have the tools to help those who have it." He also highlights the progress being made in Spain to address this problem: “Regardless of the previous pathology suffered by these patients, being constant pain becomes a condition in itself. This was one of the great advances: understanding what a disease is, and looking for pertinent solutions.”

Although "The Pain Detectives" is aimed at health professionals, it is also interesting for all researchers and students interested in the subject of pain and the effect it has on daily life. “Being part of a very preliminary study, not so clinical, it is not always given the publicity it deserves. But it is a very transversal issue, which can be of interest to both a biologist and a lawyer,'' concludes Carlos Goicoechea.

The dates of the other webinars in the series are to be confirmed; however, it is planned that one be scheduled every two months.