Fibromyalgia Tissue Bank Established for Research

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide

  • Thanks to a $1.4 million grant from the National Institute of Health, the world’s first ever fibromyalgia tissue bank is being established.  Scientists hope that the brain and spinal cord tissues they collect from deceased fibromyalgia patients will help pinpoint the cause of fibromyalgia and develop new, more effective treatments.  Initial research will focus on glial cells (activated brain and spinal cord cells) to determine whether they are involved in chronic pain conditions.

    The NIH grant was awarded to Dr. Dianne Lorton, head of the Sun Health Research Institute’s Robert J. Hoover Center for Arthritis Research.  This grant together with another NIH pilot project grant and a $100,000 grant from the American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association made this project a reality.  
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    The Sun Health Research Institute in Sun City, Arizona (near Phoenix) is currently enrolling donors.  Although tissue collection doesn’t occur until the donor’s death, donors will be asked to visit the institute annually to have a fibromyalgia assessment and complete a pain-assessment questionnaire.  Donor enrollees will be entitled to priority placement on candidate lists for future clinical trials of new pain drugs.

    If you would like more information about becoming a tissue donor, call the Institute at 623-875-6528.

Published On: May 14, 2007