The NIH (National Institute of Health) has given over $37 million to eight research centers for a 5-year study of chronic urologic pelvic pain syndromes and how they relate to chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. This is great news for those of us who have chronic fatigue syndrome and/or fibromyalgia along with interstitial cystitis. I have believed all along that there is a connection. I will be anxious to find out how this extensive study pans out.
The researchers who will be conducting this extensive study and looking for recruits include:
- Northwestern University, Chicago
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of Iowa, Iowa City
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- University of Washington, Seattle
- Washington University, St Louis
- University of Colorado, Denver (tissue/sample bank & genomic/proteomic analysis)
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (coordination & data analysis)
The urologic disorders covered in the study will include interstitial cystitis, also known as painful bladder syndrome, and chronic prostatitis also referred to as chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
The objective is to develop treatments by understanding the underlying causes of these pain syndromes from a broadened systemic perspective. That is:
Intensive studies focusing on individual organs bladder and prostate – have not identified organ-specific causes for the conditions.
But new research suggests an association with chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, and other chronic pain disorders and the possibility of common underlying disease processes.
If you would like to find out more information on this exciting new study, you can contact research director Leroy M Nyberg Jr., MD, PhD – see the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive & Kidney Diseases press release (http://www.nih.gov/news/health/sep2008/niddk-05.htm ).
From the NIH Press Release:
“The MAPP Networks expanded scientific approach will address many persistent questions about urologic chronic pelvic pain,” said NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D. “Knowing whether there are risk factors common to all the disorders and whether clinical profiles can be identified for each will provide invaluable, fundamental information for developing treatment strategies.”
The innovative shift in research focus represented by the MAPP initiative is supported by recent epidemiological studies showing that interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome and chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome are frequently associated with other chronic pain disorders such as fibromyalgia (chronic pain of unknown origin), chronic fatigue syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome. These latest findings suggest the possibility of common underlying disease processes in these chronic disorders.
“The bladder was assumed to be the origin of the interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome symptoms and the prostate was assumed to be the source of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome symptoms,” explained Leroy M. Nyberg Jr., M.D., Ph.D., the NIDDK urologist heading the program. “However, in spite of intense study funded by NIDDK, no organ-specific cause has been identified for either disorder.”