Skip to main content

Pain and Opioids in Early Life: Long-Term Consequences for Pain Sensitivity and Neurodevelopment

Thank you

This live web event has ended. Thank you for attending.


The IASP 2022 World Congress on Pain took place from 19-23 September 2022, in Toronto, Canada. As IASP prepares to release recordings of the World Congress' Plenary Lectures and select Topical Workshops, we are excited to bring you this accompanying webinar. Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits will be available to those who attend.

Attendance is free for IASP members, though registration is still required. A registration fee of $25 is required for non-IASP members. To become an IASP member, you can join here. Trainee memberships are $50 per year, while regular memberships are $180 or $230 per year, depending on income level.

Pain and Opioids in Early Life: Long-Term Consequences for Pain Sensitivity and Neurodevelopment

The last decades have seen a growing number of infants - especially those born preterm - exposed to pain in early life. While it is now widely recognized that newborn infants are capable of experiencing pain, this vulnerable population receives 7-17 painful exposures daily - with less than half associated with any form of pain relief.

Research has focused on optimizing treatment to diminish the immediate physiological response to pain. In neonates, however, early life exposure to opioids (either pre- or postnatally) - and subsequent opioid withdrawal - lead to discomfort with acute signs like tremors, excessive crying, reduced feeding, and even seizures.

It is well established that exposure to pain and opioids in early life leads to long-lasting alterations in pain sensitivity, brain development, cognitive functioning, and response to analgesia. In this session, expert panelists will guide the audience through existing and novel insights into the effects of pain and opioid exposure in early life. By discussing both clinical and preclinical evidence, this workshop will give a comprehensive and translational overview of where the field currently stands, and where the next big steps should be made.

Participants include:
-- Nynke J. van den Hoogen, PhD, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Canada
Opioid Exposure and Withdrawal in Early Life: Preclinical Evidence into Mechanisms and Long-Term Consequences
Manon Ranger, PhD, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Canada
Signature of Pain and Stress Exposure in Very Preterm Infants
Ricardo Carbajal, MD, PhD, Hospital Trousseau, Sorbonne University, France
Neurodevelopmental Effects of Neonatal Pain: Clinical Data

Learning Objectives:
1) Interpret the acute and lasting impact of pain and opioid exposure in early-life, and the intricate interplay between pain and analgesia in this vulnerable population.
2) Describe how exposure to early-life pain and opioids alters neurodevelopment.
3) Apply knowledge translation strategies related to early-life pain and opioid exposure.


  • Nynke J. van den Hoogen, PhD

    Nynke is a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Tuan Trang at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Canada. Originally from the Netherlands, Nynke achieved her BSc in Biomedical Sciences and a Research MSc in Fundamental Neuroscience at Maastricht University. She achieved her PhD in April 2018 under the supervision of Bert Joosten and Dick Tibboel. Nynke has collaborated with the Department of Neuroscience, Physiology, and Pharmacology at University College London, UK, where she spent six months performing electrophysiological experiments under the supervision of Maria Fitzgerald. Nynke’s major research interest lies in unravelling the developmental pathways that underlie individual differences in pain perception and susceptibility. Her current research expertise is the consequences of procedural pain and opioid analgesia in early-life, studied in preclinical models.

  • Manon Ranger, PhD

    Manon is a registered nurse and Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and Investigator at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute in Vancouver, Canada, with affiliate memberships in Pediatrics and the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. She conducts cross-disciplinary translational research, integrating basic research with clinical studies in preterm neonates undergoing intensive neonatal care to uncover mechanisms of vulnerability to early adversity - such as pain-related stress - in relation to brain development, while investigating and testing methods to mitigate the adverse effects of these undesirable events. Manon’s research program builds and extends upon her clinical nursing background as a pediatric clinical nurse specialist in acute pain and her training in pediatrics and neuroscience. 

  • Ricardo Carbajal, MD, PhD

    Ricardo is a pediatrician and Professor of pediatrics at Sorbonne University in Paris, France. He is also the chief of the Pediatric Emergency Department at the Armand Trousseau University Hospital in Paris. Ricardo is also affiliated with the Obstetrical, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology Research Team (EPOPé). He is the former Director of the National Center of Resources to Fight Pain in France (2002- 2008), and the former chief of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Trousseau Hospital. He has conducted numerous epidemiological and randomized controlled trials in the field of pediatric pain going from the neonate to older children. Most of these studies have been published in highly ranked peer-review journals. He's a twice elected council member of IASP's Pain in Childhood Special Interest Group. 

July 19, 2023
Wed 1:00 PM EDT

Duration 1H 30M

This live web event has ended.