As detailed in a recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, chronic pain represents a major public health concern, affecting 100 million U.S. adults and costing more than $500 billion annually. Aging confers increased risk for chronic pain, with half of older adults reporting persistent or recurring pain, and aging is associated with greater pain-related loss of physical and psychosocial function. Current knowledge regarding pain and aging is surprisingly limited, and an improved understanding of the neurobiological and psychosocial mechanisms underlying age-related changes in pain is critical in order to inform interventions aimed at reducing pain in the elderly. Indeed, NIA recently has issued a series of Program Announcements encouraging studies of pain from an aging perspective (Pain in Aging PA-13-058, 059, &060), identifying this as a high priority research topic. Our research group has documented age-related changes in laboratory measures of pain sensitivity and pain modulation, such that older adults exhibit enhanced pain facilitation (e.g. temporal summation of pain) and diminished pain inhibitory responses (e.g. conditioned pain modulation). The age-related changes in endogenous pain modulation may in part explain age-associated increases in risk for clinical pain. Advancing our understanding of pain and aging will require a coordinated translational research effort buttressed by sufficient infrastructure tailored for this purpose. Ths K07 Academic Career Award proposes to develop a University-wide program designed to facilitate and expand multidisciplinary research in pain and aging and to provide physical and logistical infrastructure to support pain and aging research efforts. In support of this goal, the I will pursue a career development plan designed to increase his expertise in aging research, enhance his leadership skills, and broaden his mentoring capacity. In addition, the PI will be supported in these endeavors by outstanding External and Internal Advisory Committees comprised of national and international leaders in their fields. The long-term outcome of this initiative will be to enhance the portfolio of pain and aging research at the University of Florida elevating it to national prominence. This research goal with be achieved by addressing the following specific aims:
Specific Aim 1 - To develop an active and focused multidisciplinary translational research program on pain and aging at the University of Florida;
Specific Aim 2 : To enhance physical and logistical infrastructure in support of clinical and translational studies on pain and aging;
Specific Aim 3 : To foster the emergence of the next generation of geriatric pain scientists by providing resources and mentoring in pain and aging for junior scholars at all levels of career development. Ultimately, development of the UF Pain and Aging Research Translational Initiative will greatly enhance the local research environment and will move the field forward through cutting edge research investigating the mechanisms underlying age-related changes in the experience of pain.

Public Health Relevance

Chronic pain represents a major public health problem, which disproportionately affects older adults. An improved understanding of the neurobiological and psychosocial mechanisms underlying age-related changes in pain is critical in order to inform interventions aimed at reducing pain in the elderly. This K07 Academic Career Award proposes to develop a University-wide program designed to facilitate and expand multidisciplinary research in pain and aging and to provide physical and logistical infrastructure to support pain and aging research efforts. The long-term outcome of this initiative will be to enhance the portfolio of pain and aging research at the University of Florida, and to move the field forward through cutting edge research investigating the mechanisms underlying age-related changes in the experience of pain.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Academic/Teacher Award (ATA) (K07)
Project #
1K07AG046371-01A1
Application #
8764254
Study Section
Neuroscience of Aging Review Committee (NIA)
Program Officer
Nielsen, Lisbeth
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Florida
Department
Dentistry
Type
Schools of Dentistry/Oral Hygn
DUNS #
City
Gainesville
State
FL
Country
United States
Zip Code
32611