Man, this year is flying by! I can’t believe we’re already in the third quarter, and pumpkins and Christmas trees will be gracing front porches in just a few short weeks. (I’ve already spotted Christmas decor in some stores!)
Today, I’m sharing a quarterly update of fibromyalgia-related research studies from ClinicalTrials.gov.
I’m most excited by #1 on the list, which is a study out of Turkey that’s looking at the relationship between the severity of central sensitization and how that impacts a fibromyalgia patient’s response to treatments.
Although it’s a small study – only 40 patients – it could be an important depending on the findings.
Thankfully, most of the studies this time are treatment-related, including those for a potential fibromyalgia drug, microcurrent, dry needling, B12 and much more!
Note to my longtime readers: This update lists only fibromyalgia studies. In the coming weeks, however, I will be posting a research update dedicated to only ME/CFS (i.e. chronic fatigue syndrome), so you’ll be kept up to date on both conditions.
FYI: All quotations in this post are from ClinicalTrials.gov unless otherwise noted.
During this study based at Marmara University in Turkey, researchers will “investigate the severity of CS [central sensitization] and its effect on treatment response in patients with fibromyalgia,” reads ClinicalTrials.gov.
The study’s description continues, “The central sensitization inventory (CSI) was developed in 2012 to be used in the recognition of central sensitivity syndromes in patients with fibromyalgia. A score of 40 and above is accepted in favor of central sensitization in the scale, which consists of two parts, in which central sensitization-related symptoms and diagnoses are questioned … Parallel to the increase in the CSI score, an increase is observed in patients’ pain severity, disability, depressive symptoms and sleep disorders. In addition, it has been reported in the literature that factors such as pre-treatment pain severity and depression affect the treatment response. Considering all these factors, it is possible that there is a relationship between the severity of central sensitization and treatment response in patients with fibromyalgia.”
University of Castilla-La Mancha researchers in Spain plan to “develop different prediction models in fibromyalgia disease through the application of machine learning techniques and to assess the explainability of the results.”
- Predicting the severity of fibromyalgia based on clinical variables
- Assessing the relevancy of social-psycho-demographic variables on symptom severity
- Predicting the pain levels of fibromyalgia patients and how that pain impacts their lives
- Categorizing patients based on the severity of their fibromyalgia symptoms
Kutahya Health Sciences University in Turkey will evaluate the “ultrasonographic and electromyographic measurements of the sural nerve in patients with and without a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.” These readings will then be compared to each other and to patient responses on the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and a neuropathic pain questionnaire.
I can tell you there are going to be some unhappy fibromyalgia patients in this trial because they will undergo electromyography (EMG)/nerve conduction testing on their upper and lower extremities. If you’ve ever had an EMG test, then you know exactly what I’m talking about! It’s not the worst medical test I’ve ever been through, but it’s not an easy one either.
Lundbeck, a Denmark-based pharmaceutical company, is sponsoring a small, 30-patient study to test the effectiveness of Lu AG06466, a potential drug candidate for fibromyalgia.
There are few details about the drug candidate listed on ClinicalTrials.gov, but I did find the following on Lundbeck’s website:
“Lu AG06466 is a small molecule and a highly selective inhibitor of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the primary enzyme responsible for the degradation of the endocannabinoid ligand 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Enhancing the actions of 2-AG on CB1 and CB2 receptors may restore altered neuronal transmission and neuroinflammation and thereby it may produce beneficial effects across a range of symptoms and related indications including PTSD, Fibromyalgia and spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis.”
This French study out of Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Charleroi will compare the effectiveness of ketamine infusions vs. esketamine infusions at reducing pain, fatigue and other symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Over the years, I’ve had several of my readers share their experience with ketamine infusions. I’ve mostly heard glowing results! The biggest drawback, however, is that relief is temporary and generally only lasts a few weeks. Since ketamine infusions usually aren’t covered by health insurance, it becomes an ongoing expense. 🙁
If it wasn’t pay-out-of-pocket, I would have tried ketamine years ago!
(Read more: An Overview of Using Ketamine for Fibromyalgia)
(Read more: What is Esketamine?)
Linnaeus University researchers in Sweden will test if mecobalamin (vitamin B12) can reduce fibromyalgia pain among 40 patients.
(Read more: B12 for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
This small Spanish study sponsored by Universidad de Granada will “evaluate the effect of a single session intervention based on a nature-based stimulation program in patients with fibromyalgia.”
Unfortunately, researchers provided few details to explain what the nature-based program actually is, but hopefully we will find out more information once the results are published.
University of Beykent researchers in Turkey will compare the effectiveness of face-to-face versus online Basic Body Awareness Therapy among 36 fibromyalgia patients.
(Read more: What is Basic Body Awareness Therapy?)
Swing Therapeutics is sponsoring this study, which will “assess the clinical impact of a digital therapy for the management of fibromyalgia. Study participants [will] receive 12 weeks of digital Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in addition to their standard care for fibromyalgia.”
During this study at Centre Hospitalier in France, 25 patients with both fibromyalgia and post-traumatic stress disorder will be given a low dose of propranolol, a common beta blocker medication that’s sometimes prescribed off-label for anxiety. After about 75 minutes, patients will then take part in a Reconsolidation Therapy session by reading his or her traumatic story.
(Read more: What is Reconsolidation Therapy?)
Researchers from Nellis Medical Center in Utah, U.S., will study if microcurrent/Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS) therapy reduces pain among 50 fibromyalgia patients.
(Read more: What is Microcurrent Electrical Therapy?)
During this study at San Pablo University in Spain, researchers will “determine if blocking abnormal impulse input with deep dry needling stimulation of tender points may decrease hyperalgesia, clinical pain and associated symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fatigue and improve the quality of life in FM [fibromyalgia] patients.
(Read more: What is Dry Needling?)
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, U.S., is studying the “feasibility of the TrainPain program as a somatosensory therapy for people with fibromyalgia. … The technology consists of two components: (1) an application downloaded to the participants’ smartphone and (2) two vibrational devices to be placed on the body of the participant, connected to the application via Bluetooth.”
(Read more: What is the TrainPain program?)
Now it’s your turn: Are you excited or hopeful about any of the studies mentioned above? Or are all of these just a big waste of time and money? Share your thoughts in the comments below!