NIH News Advisory
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute of Arthritis
and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 8, 1999

Contact:
Ray Fleming
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
(301) 496-8190
flemingr@exchange.nih.gov

NIAMS Funds Multiple Research Grants in Fibromyalgia

Eight new fibromyalgia research grants have been funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grants, totaling more than $1.34 million, include both basic and clinical research studies on the disease. In addition, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) announced funding of an award. Several other fibromyalgia grant awards, which should bring the new NIH fibromyalgia grant total past the $2.6 million mark, are pending.

"We are pleased that there was such an overwhelming response from the research community to our multi-institute request for fibromyalgia applications," said NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D. "These new grants should help us make significant inroads into a disease that causes so much pain, suffering and lost productivity in so many people."

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and multiple tender points. Tenderness occurs in precise, localized areas, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders and hips. People with this disorder may also experience sleep disturbances, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome and headaches. The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown.

The new NIAMS-funded studies include:

The new NIDCR-funded study consists of:

The award of these grants is the result of a special solicitation for research applications on fibromyalgia. Applications were peer reviewed and selected for funding based on scientific merit and program balance. In addition to NIAMS, other sponsors of the solicitation included the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and three other components of the National Institutes of Health: ORWH, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research.

Approximately 3.7 million persons aged 18 and older in the United States have fibromyalgia. It primarily occurs in women of childbearing age, but children, the elderly, and men may also be affected. NIAMS, the major federal organization supporting research on the disease, actively encourages and supports a variety of research studies and sets up scientific workshops and other collaborative efforts with a variety of organizations.

The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases.