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Australian Pain Society 2020 Webinars 

This website includes the full list of Australian Pain Society Webinars run in 2020. 

Recordings are available for 2020 webinars. APS Members can access these through the "Latest News" section of the APS Member Only Portal. 

2021 Webinars can be found here:  APS 2021 Webinar Series

Should you have any questions, please contact the APS Webinar and Conference Secretariat:

Please note, APS Webinars are suitable for Health Professionals/Researchers only.

Past Webinars

Webinar One:

Gut Feelings: The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis as a Key Regulator of Visceral Pain

Date: Tuesday 25 August 2020
Time: 6:00PM - 7:00PM AEST

Presentation Outline: 
Visceral pain is a significant and prevalent feature of several disorders including the functional gastrointestinal disorder, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  Treatment strategies are limited and often unsatisfactory which has opened up new research avenues into the aetiology of visceral pain. 

This research has led to an increased appreciation of the role of the brain gut axis in modulating viscera pain responses.  More recently, the interactions between the gut microbiota and the central nervous system have emerged indicating that visceral pain related disorders may be prospective candidates for symptom relief via microbial manipulation. 

In this talk Professor Cryan will highlight the enormous and exciting potential that targeting the microbiota-gut-brain axis has for visceral pain and associated co-morbidities.

Speaker Biography:
John F. Cryan is Professor & Chair, Dept. of Anatomy & Neuroscience, University College Cork, Ireland and is also a Principal Investigator at APC Microbiome Ireland. 

Professor Cryan's current research is focused on understanding the interaction between brain, gut & microbiome and how it applies to stress, psychiatric and immune-related disorders and their co-morbidities at key time-windows across the lifespan.

He has published over 500 articles and is co-author of the bestselling  “The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection” from National Geographic Press. He has received numerous awards including UCC Researcher of the Year in 2012; UCC Research Communicator of the Year 2017, the University of Utrecht Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research in 2013 and being named on the Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher list in 2014, 2017,2018, 2019. 

Professor Cryan was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2017 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Antwerp, Belgium in 2018. He also received a Research Mentor Award from the American Gastroenterology Association and the Tom Connor Distinguished Scientist Award from Neuroscience Ireland in 2017. He was a TEDMED speaker in 2014 and is immediate Past-President of the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society.


Webinar Two: 
Neuropsychological Changes in Complex Regional Pain

Date: Monday 23 November 2020
Time: 6:00PM - 7:00PM AEDT

Presentation Outline: 
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) can be accompanied by reduced attention to the affected limb and/or the side of space within which it normally resides. These “neglect-like” changes have been attribute to altered brain function, and have driven the development of therapies that aim to relieve symptoms. However, considering emerging results, there is reason to question the current characterisation of “neglect-like” changes in CRPS. I will discuss this in light of 1) the challenges and potential pitfalls of trying to characterise heterogeneous disorders; 2) broader considerations of neuropsychological changes beyond the “neglect-like” framework. 

Speaker Biography:
Dr Janet Bultitude is a Senior Lecturer at the Psychology Department and Centre for Pain Research at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. Her research interests are in pain, attention, body representation, sensorimotor interaction, and neurorehabilitation. Drawing from her background in stroke research, her most recent work has focused on “neglect-like” changes and other sensory symptoms in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and how these could be targeted to bring about pain relief.


Webinar Three: Professor Michele Sterling & Dr Cobus Gerber

Date: Monday 30 November 2020
Time: 6:00PM - 7:30PM AEDT

Webinar Outline

  • 6:00 - 6:30PM: Michele Sterling: Risk stratification and targeted treatment: Effective for musculoskeletal motor vehicle crash injury?
  • 6:30 - 7:00PM: Cobus Gerber: Changes in the scale of opioid consumption and cannabis in Australia by wastewater analysis 
  • 7:00 - 7:30PM: Live Q&A

Professor Michele Sterling: Risk stratification and targeted treatment: Effective for musculoskeletal motor vehicle crash injury?

Most injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes (MVC) are not catastrophic but are of a musculoskeletal nature. Injuries to the neck (Whiplash Associated Disorders) and lower back are the most common. Although classified as minor, the sequelae of these injuries are far from minor. Many injured people develop persistent co-morbid symptoms of pain, posttraumatic stress, depression and anxiety.  Treatment for minor MVC injury is not very effective having only small effects on pain and disability.

Offsetting this otherwise disappointing scenario, are the results of recent trials where stronger effects have been demonstrated using several approaches. For the acute injury stage, early risk stratification and subsequent targeting of identified risk-factors of stress and nociplastic processes by combining treatments (e.g exercise with medication) have resulted in improved health outcomes. In the chronic injury stage, integrating psychological and physiotherapy treatments also shows promise. 

This presentation will outline the co-development and inter-relationships between pain, disability and psychological comorbidities following minor MVC injury and present results of recent clinical trials that offer a potential breakthrough for the management of these conditions.   

Speaker Biography:

Michele Sterling is Professor in the Recover Injury Research Centre, Program Lead of the Musculoskeletal Injuries research program at The University of Queensland, Australia. She is a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and a Fellow of the Australian College of Physiotherapists. Michele’s research focusses on the mechanisms underlying the development of chronic pain after injury, predictive algorithms for outcomes and developing effective interventions for musculoskeletal injury and pain. She has conducted numerous cohort studies and clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of various treatments and their combinations including exercise, psychological treatments, manual therapies and multidisciplinary care. She has over 200 peer-reviewed publications in this area. Michele is an elected member of the leadership Council of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and a Section Editor of Pain.

Dr Cobus Gerber: Changes in the scale of opioid consumption and cannabis in Australia by wastewater analysis 

Opioid-related deaths have reached epidemic proportions in parts of the globe, particularly Northern America. Concerns about a similar crisis in Australia due to prescription opioids have also been voiced. Although deaths associated with prescription opioids have increased in Australia in recent years, actual prescriptions of various drugs have either been steady, or declining.

The presentation will show South Australian data spanning almost a decade, during which time pharmaceutical opioid use peaked in 2015. Elsewhere in Australia, levels of prescription opioids have been relatively steady since the start of the nationwide study in 2016. With the rise of fentanyl analogues associated with heroin fatalities internationally, as well as changes in legislation around the medicinal cannabis, latest results relating to these substances will also be discussed.

Speaker Biography:

Cobus leads the Population Health Chemistry research group at the University of South Australia and lectures various topics in chemistry. His research focus is to develop methods for drug recovery from biofluid and wastewater media and mass spectrometry-based detection. He collaborates internationally in the emerging field of Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE). He has published several scientific papers and reports for government agencies on the application of WBE to show the scale of use of substances with abuse potential. He is one of the authors of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program reports. 


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