It’s time for another research update! The latest fibromyalgia and Lyme disease studies entered into the federal government’s ClinicalTrials.gov database are summarized below.
As usual, you’ll notice a great disparity between the number of fibromyalgia studies vs. those for Lyme. Thank God for the supplement companies because otherwise the Lyme community would be completely left out in the cold (as usual). I’m praying Congress will pass the TICK Act so more federal funding will be earmarked for Lyme research. Find out how you can support the TICK Act here!
As for fibromyalgia, there are several new research studies underway for potential pharmaceutical treatments, most of which I’ve written about previously in this post. You’ll also notice the usual mix of gadgets, supplements, psychological methods and exercise programs being tested out as possible treatments.
Are you excited by any of the studies mentioned below? Share in the comments!
New fibromyalgia studies
During a 14-week study, Tonix Pharmaceuticals will test out a low-dose, sublingual version of cyclobenzaprine, a common muscle relaxer, to determine if it will reduce fibromyalgia pain and other symptoms.
(Read more: Four new fibromyalgia drugs are under development)
Duke University and Eli Lilly & Co. are partnering to determine if three injected doses of galcanezumab will relieve fibromyalgia symptoms. Galcanezumab is currently sold under the brand name Emgality and is FDA approved as a treatment for migraines.
Pharmaceutical company Aptinyx is conducting a study to determine if NYX-2925, a novel NMDA receptor modulator, is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia. About 300 fibromyalgia patients will participate in the trial, which will be held at 25 clinical sites around the United States.
(Read more: Four new fibromyalgia drugs are under development)
From the ClinicalTrials.gov summary: “The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the current routine practice of lidocaine-ketamine infusions conducted at Allevio Pain Management Clinic, a large, outpatient, community-based chronic pain management facility [based in Ontario, Canada]. Lidocaine-ketamine infusions are prescribed to patients that have pain that is considered to be neuropathic for which standard anti-neuropathic medications have been ineffective or poorly tolerated by patients.”
(Read more: An overview of ketamine and fibromyalgia)
About 60 Swiss fibromyalgia patients will participate in a study to determine if virtual reality can reduce chronic pain.
Spanish researchers will study if eight sessions of physical therapy (i.e. physiotherapy) performed during twice-a-week sessions will improve symptoms in women with both ME/CFS and fibromyalgia.
Italian researchers will determine if the use of a device called a relaxometer may improve the cognitive functioning of patients with fibromyalgia. The relaxometer is “designed for the physical rehabilitation of patients with functional problems of upper limbs. It works by moving passively the patient’s fingers in a gradual way (with different speeds) in all directions of space, which is innovative compared to similar machines already on the market,” according to the ClinicalTrials.gov summary.
Vittorio Schweiger, a researcher from the University of Verona in Italy, is heading up a fibromyalgia study comparing the effectiveness of twice-a-day acupuncture sessions vs. taking Migratens, a supplement containing magnesium, CoQ10, niacin and other ingredients.
Spanish researchers from the University of the Balearic Islands will “compare the effectiveness of two types of body vibration platform, one vertical and one rotational, through a 12-week training in patients with fibromyalgia,” according to the ClinicalTrials.gov summary.
University of Cagliari researchers in Italy will “verify the feasibility of an HVR biofeedback training protocol in patients with fibromyalgia, and also to verify improvement induced by the technique in relation to: quality of life; quality of sleep; perception of pain; depressive symptomatology; anxious symptomatology,” according to ClinicalTrials.gov.
Note: I believe HVR, the acronym quoted above, is incorrect. I think the author of the summary likely meant HRV, which stands for heart-rate variability.
Parc de Salut Mar researchers in Spain are studying if Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a trauma-based form of psychotherapy, in tandem with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a non-invasive stimulation technique used for chronic pain, can reduce pain, depression and anxiety associated with fibromyalgia.
Spanish researchers will evaluate “the efficacy of a Brief Procedure of Emotional Regulation for Fibromyalgia (PbRE), … a word reading task [implemented] through an app developed for smartphones. The patient will choose emotional positive and negative words related to personal and clinical characteristics. This exercise has been shown useful in analogous tasks in relational frame theory (Hussey y Barnes-Holmes (2012) or in bias computer training (Salemink et al., 2014),” reads the ClinicalTrials.gov summary.
Around 330 fibromyalgia patients will participate in a Netherlands study to compare the effectiveness of a hospital-led physical activity program vs. at-home physical activity. The hospital program will involve two weekly exercise sessions for one month followed by two months of activity via an outside sports organization or club. Patients doing the at-home program will receive routine advice and recommendations on autonomous physical activity.
(Read more: Science, fibromyalgia and exercise)
Taipei Medical University researchers in Taiwan are carrying out a two-prong fibromyalgia study. First, the symptomatology of about 300 patients will be assessed in an effort “to identify phenotypes of patients with fibromyalgia according to symptom clusters and to compare differences in quality of life among different phenotypes,” reads the ClinicalTrials.gov summary.
Then, researchers will recruit around 110 fibromyalgia patients to “examine the effects of technology-assisted and tailored health coaching in comparison to telephone support on health status, [quality of life], pain catastrophizing and self-efficacy…”
(Read more: Coaching for fibromyalgia)
Uppsala University researchers in Sweden will conduct “an observational cross sectional study with the purpose to examine respiratory function in people with fibromyalgia and compare with age-matched controls,” according to ClinicalTrials.gov.
“This study will evaluate respiratory function in people with fibromyalgia and whether or not breathing patterns in this patient group can be explained by stress, emotional or biomechanical variables. In addition, [the study will] examine the relationship between physical ability and lactate values.”
This Veterans Affairs (U.S.) study will assess if percutaneous electrical nerve field stimulation administered via Innovative Health Solutions’ BRIDGE device could be used an a non-opioid-based pain reliever for fibromyalgia.
New Lyme disease research studies
This study from Optimal Health Research will assess the effectiveness of acetogenins in treating post-Lyme Disease syndrome using a supplement called ReaLife+.
This second study from Optimal Health Research is an expansion of the study mentioned above in which around 100 Lyme patients will take ReaLife+ as a treatment for post-Lyme disease syndrome.
From ClinicalTrials.gov: “The goal of this research study [conducted by ProgenaBiome] is to better understand how the genetic information in [a] subject’s microbiome correlates to the information provided in surveys and in medical records regarding Lyme disease.”
Now it’s your turn: What do you think of these studies? Are you hopeful or excited by any of them? If not, what do you wish they’d study instead? Share in the comments!