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Research and new developments for fibromyalgia

In order to increase our understanding of the fundamental causes of musculoskeletal pain, we're increasing our portfolio of awards in this important area as part of the pain challenge.

So far, we've invested a total of more than £3 million in 13 different projects in this area. It's hoped that this research will lead to the prevention, identification or development of new treatments for pain.

We're also supporting, alongside the University of Nottingham and local NHS trusts, the world's first centre for research into understanding the mechanisms of pain in musculoskeletal disorders. The Arthritis Research UK Pain Centre aims to:

  • investigate how people experience pain
  • understand the biological basis of pain
  • develop new drugs more effectively
  • improve the effectiveness of currently available pain-relief drugs
  • investigate basic pathways of pain perception to identify new targets for developing treatments.

We're also supporting research looking into developing a blood test to diagnose fibromyalgia, which could aid diagnosis of the condition. Researchers will examine samples and measurements from 400 twin volunteers, in which one twin has fibromyalgia but the other does not, to identify genetic changes associated with the condition.

In addition to improving diagnosis, we're supporting research to further understand fibromyalgia, which could lead to more effective therapies. We're also funding a study looking into the body and brain mechanisms of pain and fatigue in fibromyalgia, and a study investigating the relationship between the weather and chronic pain. 

To identify new treatments for fibromyalgia, we're supporting research including a project looking into the effect of cognitive behaviour therapy on chronic widespread pain in fibromyalgia patients (the MAmMOTH study). 

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