Investigating body and brain mechanisms of pain and fatigue in fibromyalgia

Disease - Fibromyalgia, hypermobility syndrome

Lead applicant - Professor Kevin Davies

Organisation - University of Sussex

Type of grant - Project Grant

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £249,772

Start date - 1 April 2016

Reference - 21194

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

People with fibromyalgia feel widespread pain over their body as well as fatigue clouded thoughts which stop them from enjoying a normal active life. Studies suggest patients with fibromyalgia may have problems with their bodies' fight and flight response to stress. Blood tests taken from people with fibromyalgia may also show more signs of inflammation than those without the condition. This study aims to investigate how the brain responses for pain and fatigue are affected by the body's ability to control the fight or flight response, and by increases in inflammation.

Why is this research important?

This study is important because fibromyalgia patients often report that pain, fatigue and clouded thoughts have the greatest impact on their quality of life. This study will greatly increase our understanding of why fatigue and pain are felt by people with fibromyalgia and will lead to the improved recognition and understanding of an often overlooked condition.

How will the findings benefit patients?

The findings from this research project will help improve communication and understanding between doctors and patients. This research also has great potential to identify why people with fibromyalgia experience such extreme fatigue and pain, and could lead to further research towards treatments and cures for this condition.