Participating in Research
Learn more about what it means to participate in research, as well as information for healthy research volunteers and research volunteers with chronic pain.
Current/recent research studies:
Generalized Hypersensitivity in Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome
We are investigating sensitivity to light and sound in addition to pain sensitivity to learn more about the mechanisms behind fibromyalgia.
Pain Modulation in Patients with Fibromyalgia and Healthy Volunteers
Pain sensitivity is higher in individuals with fibromyalgia and pain modulation in these same individuals has been found to be abnormal. We are using a few different testing combinations to learn more about what causes these changes, including pressure, heat, and cold water testing.
Spinal and Supra-Spinal Pain Mechanisms in Patients with Fibromyalgia
Patients with fibromyalgia have increased sensitivity to mechanical and thermal stimuli. We are using capsaicin, the ingredient in chili peppers that make them spicy, to stimulate the peripheral nervous system of individuals with and without chronic pain to find out whether it makes you more of less pain sensitive. We will test sensitivity to heat, pressure and sound to help us find out what specific part of the central nervous system responds differently between healthy volunteers and volunteers with chronic pain.
Mechanisms of Fatigue/Pain in Healthy Adults and Patients with Chronic Fatigue Conditions (Study is Closed)
Fatigue is a factor that often contributes to dysfunction and disability of patients. It occurs frequently not only in patients with heart failure or cancer but also in patients with chronic pain disorders like fibromyalgia syndrome. Chronic fatiguing conditions include also Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This disorder is often thought to occur after acute infections or severe stress. We will test mechanisms of fatigue in patients with chronic fatigue/pain as well as normal controls. This study will provide information about peripheral, spinal cord, and brain mechanisms that are involved in fatigue processing. Tests will use exercise and mild heat or pressure stimuli to the skin or muscles. We are actively recruiting individuals with fibromyalgia and/or individuals with chronic fatigue.
Effects of Savella (Milnacipran) on Pain and Hyperalgesia of Fibromyalgia Patients (Study is Closed)
Last year milnacipran was the first drug in the US to be approved solely for the treatment of Fibromyalgia. We are conducting a clinical trial of this medication to see its effect not only on patient’s pain levels, but also their levels of hyperalgesia. We want to learn more about how Savella works, and why it works for some patients and not others. This trial is expected to last 6-8 weeks.
Effects of Pregabalin (Lyrica) on Pain and Hyperalgesia of Fibromyalgia Patients (Study is Closed)
Pregabalin was the first drug in the US to be approved for the treatment of Fibromyalgia. We are conducting a clinical trial of this medication to see its effect not only on patient’s pain level, but also their levels of hyperalgesia. We want to learn more about how Pregabalin works, and why it works for some patients and not others. This trial is expected to last 6-8 weeks.
Muscle Injections for Fatigue/Pain of Chronic Fatigue Patients (Study is Closed)
Local treatments can make a major difference in the overall fatigue/pain of chronic fatigue patients. Deactivation of painful muscle areas by injections with local anesthetics is currently being investigated in our lab. We want to prove that targeted local therapies can powerfully relieve your fatigue/pain. Thus eliminating the need to take medications that affect your whole body. Procedures used for this study will include mild heat and pressure testing before and after the injections.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Fatigue in Chronic Fatigue/Insomnia Patients (Study is Closed)
Chronic Fatigue patients/patients with insomnia meeting the entry criteria will be enrolled into this study which looks at the structures of grey and white matter of the brain. We want to determine if chronic fatigue/insomnia affect the activity of different areas of your brain. Monetary compensation will be provided for those who qualify and complete the study protocol.
Effects of Acupuncture on Pain (Study is Closed)
Used for centuries to treat pain, acupuncture has been endorsed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States. Our study tests the effectiveness of acupuncture on pain and pain sensitivity. Preliminary testing has produced promising results in pain patients.
Tender Points in Patients with Fibromyalgia (Study is Closed)
Tender points are used world wide for the classification of fibromyalgia. This study evaluates a patients pain sensitivity of these areas using both mechanical and thermal stimuli. Each subject will participate in one session, lasting approximately 90 minutes. Monetary compensation will be provided for those who qualify and complete the study protocol.
Diffused Noxious Inhibitory Control (DNIC) – Pain Modulation in Patients with Fibromyalgia (Study is Closed)
Pain modulation has been found to be abnormal in patients with fibromyalgia. We are using a counter-irritation test to test this finding. While heat stimuli are applied to the skin of one arm, mildly painful mechanical pressure is applied to the other arm. Each subject will participate in up to two sessions, each lasting approximately 30 minutes.
Pain Modulation (Gate-Control) in Patients with Fibromyalgia (Study is Closed)
Simple sensations, like touch and vibration can inhibit pain. In fibromyalgia patients, however, this pain-inhibitory mechanism may have become dysfunctional. We will apply moderately painful heat stimuli to the skin of one arm, while we put a vibrating tool on the same arm or other arm. Each subject will participate in up to two sessions, each lasting approx. 60 minutes.
Pain Modulation (Offset-Analgesia) in Patients with Fibromyalgia (Study is Closed)
Pain from mild to moderate heat resolves very quickly after termination of the stimulus. In chronic pain patients, however, this pain inhibitory mechanism may be dysfunctional. Each subject will participate in up to two compensated sessions, each lasting approx. 60 minutes.
Spatial Summation of Pain in Patients with Fibromyalgia (Study is Closed)
Spatial summation patients with fibromyalgia will be compared to normal controls. For this purpose part of the upper and lower extremity will be immersed in warm water for 20 seconds. Each subject will participate in two sessions, each lasting approx. 30 minutes.
Stimulus Response to Ascending and Descending Heat Stimuli (Study is Closed)
Increasing or decreasing heat and cold sensations will be elicited at the hands of fibromyalgia patients and normal controls. Each subject will participate in two session, each lasting approx. 30 minutes.
Genes Relevant to Fibromyalgia Pain (Study is Closed)
We are working to identify the genetic factors related to pain and pain sensitivity. Genetic information may allow us to learn more about what causes your pain as well as how to prevent it. This identification will help us to develop treatments and someday even cures. This study requires the collection of a small amount of blood for genetic analysis and is restricted to FMS patients only. Strict confidentiality will be maintained.
If you are interested in participating in our clinical trials or would like to receive more information, please call our study coordinators at 352-265-8901 or contact us by email at email@example.com