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Seminar Examines Biology of Pain and Nerve Repair in Peripheral Nerve Disease

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  • Seminar Examines Biology of Pain and Nerve Repair in Peripheral Nerve Disease

    The Jack Miller Center for Peripheral Neuropathy at the University of Chicago will present its second biennial scientific symposium on the “Frontiers of Peripheral Nerve Research,” from 9 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. on Friday, April 28, 2006, at the University of Chicago’s Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th Street, Chicago.

    The seminar will focus on pain mechanisms and peripheral nerve development, repair and regeneration. Speakers include Rhona Mirsky of University College, London; Elior Peles of the Weizmann Institute, Israel; Jeff Milbrandt of Washington University in St. Louis; Stephen Waxman of Yale; Bill Snider of the University of North Carolina; and Clifford Woolf of Harvard.

    Peripheral neuropathy is a common disorder, affecting about three percent of all those over age 60. The disease results from damage to the nerves and nerve processes that are located outside the brain and spinal cord. It has many causes, including diabetes, traumatic injury to the nerves, damage to or swelling of the sheaths around nerves, circulation problems, genetics, or a misdirected immune attack on nerve tissue. Symptoms include pain in the hands and arms, legs and feet--sometimes constant and quite severe—as well as progressive numbness and weakness in the arms and legs.

    The Miller Center promotes multidisciplinary investigations into peripheral neuropathies, focusing on efforts to determine the cause, at the molecular level, and finding ways to use that knowledge to produce a cure for these disorders. The Center was founded in 1999 by a generous gift from Jack Miller of Lincolnshire, Illinois, founder and president of Quill Corporation. Miller, who suffers from peripheral neuropathy, was frustrated by the lack of information about the disease and decided to launch a concerted effort by neuroscientists at the University of Chicago to investigate the basic biology of the neuropathy and to search for better treatments and, eventually, a cure for this common nerve disorder.