To mark International Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day, Trinity is hosting a public symposium this evening for specialists in the disease to discuss the latest treatments, which will also see people living with the disease share their experiences.
The evening will focus on the theme of “from bench to bed”, and will be hosted by the Trinity Neurological Society (Neurosoc). Trigeminal neuralgia is recognised as one of the most painful diseases in the world, and is estimated to affect 1 in every 20,000 people. The condition, which affects close to 1,000 people in Ireland today, is caused by a disorder of the cranial nerve, which results in an extreme burning pain in a sufferer’s face.
Despite being relatively common, trigeminal neuralgia is often misdiagnosed in patients, and there is generally very little awareness of the disease and its impact on sufferers.
Over the course of the evening, those in attendance will hear from a range of experts in the condition including Prof Paul Durham, from the Centre for Biomedical and Life Sciences at Missouri State University.
Durham will be speaking about new treatment developments for trigeminal neuralgia and similar diseases and present data that shows people who suffer trigeminal neuralgia are likely to also suffer from other oral and facial diseases, as well as other disorders of the gut, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Talks will also be given by Dr Josh Keaveny, from Beaumont Hospital, who specialises in treating people suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, and Prof David Finn, President of the Irish Pain Society.
In a press release, research assistant in Trinity’s Institute of Neuroscience, Carol Murray, who suffers from trigeminal neuralgia, described the condition as “debilitating” and noted that “every day actions that most people don’t think twice about doing, such as talking, smiling, eating, or even just brushing their hair, can trigger excruciating pain for people living with it”.
Murray is positive about Friday’s symposium, praising it for its focus on “educating, creating awareness and providing hope to patients living with a truly horrendous disorder”.
Pharmaceutical company Grunenthal and charity Chronic Pain Ireland, who are both sponsors of the event, have begun a national campaign, “mypainfeelslike…”, which aims to raise awareness of painful conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia and support patients in communicating extreme pain to healthcare professionals. The website mypainfeelslike.ie features a questionnaire that has been developed specifically to assist communication surrounding this distressing issue. Some sufferers may look towards different types of medicines to help ease their pain like CBD products, if they do and they are worried about affording it, there are discount CBDFX codes that they can use to get a good deal and save money to help with their condition.
Trinity is not the only place in Dublin to mark the day. Joining famous monuments and buildings from around the world, including Niagara Falls and Trafalgar Square, Dublin landmarks such as the National Concert Hall, the 3 Arena and Christchurch Cathedral will be lit up in a teal colour on Friday night to help raise awareness of the disease.