Spinal injury pain

The NSW Government has awarded $1.45 million to a clinical trial investigating the mechanisms underlying chronic pain following spinal cord injury under the Spinal Cord Injury Research Grant scheme. The study aims to determine the efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) in treating individuals with spinal cord injury pain and to determine the mechanisms responsible for neuropathic pain.  

The first part of the study will explore the functional and anatomical brain changes which cause spinal cord injury pain.  

The second part of the study will be a Phase II randomised, double-blinded clinical trial examining whether CBD can reduce spinal cord injury pain and/or normalise brain function. Participants for the second part of the study will be recruited from participants in the first part of the study.     

The trial will be conducted at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), Prince of Wales Hospital and the University of Sydney and is expected to commence by mid 2021.    

Professor Luke Henderson from the Brain and Mind Centre, School of Medical Sciences, University of Sydney, is leading the trial, which is a collaboration between the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, the Brain and Mind Centre and the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Sydney.   

Participating in the spinal cord injury clinical trial

Only adults with complete or incomplete spinal cord injury determined using the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) impairment scale and below-level neuropathic pain for at least three months will be considered for enrolment in the trial.

Patients who are interested in participating in the study should discuss the eligibility criteria with their treating doctor and contact Professor Henderson on (02) 9351 7063 or via email to luke.henderson@sydney.edu.au to register their interest.