Another interesting lecture at the 16th Annual NANS Meeting was presented by Dr. Kamal Chemali entitled, “Music and the Brain.” This focused on how music was employed to treat various neurological conditions. He showed videos of certain patients with aphasia (the inability to speak) and demonstrated how, by utilizing music, he got the individual to pronounce words very clearly. Another case was presented in which the doctor played music for an individual who, due to a spinal cord injury, had difficulty walking. By playing music, this person was able to develop a rhythm in each step and was able to walk down a hallway. This was a fantastic lecture that was very emotionally charged. Later, by chance, I was seated next to Dr. Chemali and had the opportunity to thank him for his lecture.

I then had the privilege of witnessing the Distinguished Service Award presented to my long-time friend and colleague, Dr. Joshua Prager. The award ceremony included a review of Dr. Prager’s accomplishments by Dr. David Kloth; to my surprise, there were many accomplishments of which I was unaware. Dr. Prager attended both Stanford and Harvard and, as one of its founding members, he was instrumental in the launching of NANS in 1994. What an accomplishment to observe the growth of this fantastic event from a mere hundred attendees up to the now greater than 1,000!

The NTAC, a collaboration of pain societies, was also the brainchild of Dr. Prager. He developed the Council of Pain Physician Societies, is a leader in the field of pain management, and is a contributing editor for the Journal of Neuromodulation. Of the things I did not know about Dr. Prager, I was most surprised and intrigued to hear that he is an accomplished blues harmonica player. He has even played at a Blues Club on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee.

During his acceptance, Dr. Prager acknowledged his wife and children – who were there to see him receive this prestigious award. He proceeded to acknowledge the many people who affected his life with a slide presentation of their faces displayed. Included were Dr. Dean Willis, Sam Hassenbusch, and many others. He ended the acceptance speech by asking everyone to join him in a song that he created with another physician called, “Trolling on the Dura” – whose melody resembled Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary.” This was a very entertaining and special event that I was grateful to have witnessed.

The last lecture that I attended at the 16th Annual NANS Meeting was a review by Dr. Timothy Deer and Dr. Salim Hayek during which they discussed the new Polyanalgesic Consensus Committee Guidelines for 2012. Dr. Deer presented some of the new findings that contributed to the guidelines and the reasons for the 2012 update. Dr. Hayek followed with a discussion of certain areas that the guidelines did not address. There was a healthy debate of the guidelines, as several physicians respectfully disagreed on multiple aspects, ranging from trialing to which drugs are most appropriate for specific situations. Discussions such as these are always thrilling to witness because egos remain in check and there is a mutual understanding that treatments may differ for each and every patient.

For more conference recaps, visit Hartley Medical’s Knowledge Center by clicking here.

For more on the Polyanalgesic Consensus Guidelines, click here.

For a brief video overview of the 16th Annual NANS Meeting, click the video below:

To watch William Stuart, RPh, give his notations on the 2012 NANS Meeting, click the video below: