I was on ClinicalTrials.gov earlier this month to research another article, and these bright blue boxes with the word “NEW” on them kept catching my attention as I was scrolling the pages. It seems we have quite a few new fibromyalgia and Lyme disease research studies in the works, so I thought it would be interesting to compile a summary of them.
As usual, there are the typical exercise- and cognitive behavioral therapy-related trials for fibromyalgia, but there are few promising listings, too, including one that’s looking at the effectiveness of cannabis for chronic pain and another that’s studying the repurposing of a migraine drug for fibro.
You’ll notice there are fewer Lyme studies, and all of them tend to focus on treatment of acute infections. Unfortunately, this will probably remain the case until the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (U.S.) finally admits the frequency of chronic Lyme disease.
Would you like me to continue sharing these research updates? I find these summaries really interesting, but maybe I’m just a research nerd. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!
New fibromyalgia research studies
Izmir Katip Celebi University researchers in Turkey are studying “the effectiveness of high-frequency [repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation] to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in fibromyalgia patients,” according to a ClinicalTrials.gov summary.
(Read more: Previous and ongoing rTMS/fibromyalgia studies)
Researchers from the University of Lleida in Spain are studying the impact of the POLD method, a form of manual physiotherapy, on fibromyalgia. “This therapy is based on a passive, oscillatory mobilization, performed at a resonance frequency and applied throughout the time of the therapeutic session, on the vertebrae and the muscles of the back, without interruption,” according to the ClinicalTrials.gov summary.
(Watch: An introduction to the POLD method)
Investigators from Hittite University in Turkey are testing a hypothesis that “six weeks of five weekly sessions of high-intensity interval training will show superior effect reducing the impact of fibromyalgia and improving pain degree, functional capacity and health-related quality of life in women with fibromyalgia compared to moderate-intensity continuous training,” according to a study summary.
(Read more: What fitness training works best with fibromyalgia?)
The Nova Scotia Health Authority in Canada will be investigating brain, social and psychological factors that “enhance or reduce the effectiveness of pain treatments in people suffering with fibromyalgia pain. … The investigators aim to study these factors to identify and develop feasible and robust indicators based on a person’s biological makeup (also called biomarkers). These biomarkers will allow doctors and researchers to predict more accurately which treatment and prevention strategies for a particular disease will work in which groups of people.”
Mayo Clinic “researchers are evaluating if cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia delivered over the internet will help with fibromyalgia symptoms.”
This Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.) study has three goals: “To investigate the influence of cardiovascular autonomic function on pain sensitivity at rest in patients with fibromyalgia and age- and sex-matched controls; to investigate the influence of cardiovascular autonomic function at baseline and during exercise on the pain response following submaximal isometric exercise; [and] to study the relation between the pain response following physical and cognitive tasks (exercise and mental math, respectively).”
Researchers from Teva Branded Pharmaceutical Products will study the effectiveness of fremanezumab administered subcutaneously for fibromyalgia pain. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration approved fremanezumab (sold under the brand name Ajovy) last year for the prevention of migraine. The company estimates it will complete its phase 2 fibro trial in 2021.
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire – Amiens researchers in France will study if rumination increases fibromyalgia pain.
(Read more: Rumination worsen fibromyalgia symptoms)
Researchers from Gaziosmanpasa Taksim Research and Education Hospital in Turkey will look at the subjective age (i.e. how old do you feel vs. chronological age) of fibromyalgia patients and how that might correlate with increased depression, anxiety, fatigue and other factors.
Omni Medical Services will conduct a “multistate, multicenter clinical study to determine the efficacy and safety of medical cannabis for a wide variety of chronic medical conditions” including fibromyalgia.
New Lyme disease research studies
During this study, MicroB-plex and Johns Hopkins University are “introducing a novel, blood-based diagnostic method that will enable clinicians to diagnose infections earlier and to monitor the success of their interventions.”
University Medical Centre Ljubljana in Slovenia will “assess the proportion and clinical implication of proven and possible coinfection with Lyme borreliae in patients with [tick-borne encephalitis], and to evaluate the association between anti-borrelial antibiotic therapy and clinical outcome in the subgroup of patients with possible coinfection.”
(Read more: The truth about Lyme disease coinfections)
The objective of this University Medical Centre Ljubljana study in Slovenia is to “characterize the inflammatory proteins, gene polymorphisms and transcriptome profiles in patients with erythema migrans to gain better insight into pathogenesis of early Lyme borreliosis and to define new immune modulators that could serve as biomarkers of disease activity.”
This third study out of University Medical Centre Ljubljana in Slovenia will “compare the efficacy of different amoxicillin treatment regimens in patients with erythema migrans.”