1st fibromyalgia tissue bank set up at Sun Health Institute
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 23, 2007 12:00 AM
A new tissue bank and new research at the Sun Health Research Institute could offer hope to millions of people in this country suffering from fibromyalgia, a chronic syndrome whose many symptoms include fatigue and muscle, joint and bone pain.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $1.4 million grant to Dr. Dianne Lorton, head of the institute's Robert J. Hoover Center for Arthritis Research, to establish the world's first fibromyalgia tissue bank.
"Tissue collected from fibromyalgia patients will be an incredible resource for finding answers to the questions of what causes fibromyalgia and how we can successfully treat it," Lorton said.
The bank will lay the groundwork for the institute to do innovative research on glial cells - activated brain and spinal cord cells - which are the focus of the latest theory on what causes fibromyalgia pain.
The expanded arthritis research project is made possible not only by the NIH grant but also by a $100,000 grant from the American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association and a pilot project grant from the NIH.
The institute needs fibromyalgia patients to donate tissue, Lorton said.
"Pain in fibromyalgia is poorly understood and managed," she said. "It is expected this innovative new research will lead to a potentially revolutionary treatment for the millions of people suffering with severe chronic pain."
Lorton is collaborating with Dr. Linda Watkins at the University of Colorado-Boulder, in doing this research, which may help sufferers of long-term pain associated not only with fibromyalgia, but also with shingles, diabetes, arthritis, cancer and AIDS.
Tissue donation will not occur until the donor's death. However, fibromyalgia-tissue donors will be asked to visit the institute each year to have their malady checked and to complete a pain-assessment questionnaire. For information on becoming a tissue donor, call (623) 875-6528. Web site; <-----clicky!