June 20, 2008
International Group of Experts Gather to Discuss Future Research
Nearly 100 individuals participated in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases’ international symposium. The program, Defining the Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndromes: A New Beginning, took place June 16-17, 2008 in Bethesda, Maryland. In attendance from the National Fibromyalgia Association were Lynne Matallana, president and founder, Rae Marie Gleason, executive director, and Katrina Shibata, research and program development director.
The goal of this international group of experts in urology, gastroenterology, internal medicine, rheumatology, epidemiology, behavioral science and other disciplines was to re-characterize the two most common urologic chronic pelvic pain syndromes—interstitial cystitis and chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), this re-characterization will be utilized in future research studies to better define the clinical and other characteristics of men and women afflicted with these syndromes.
The symposium is a result of prior meetings, set to discuss the progress of research. In the summer of 2007, the NIDDK assembled a multidisciplinary advisory panel of experts to review the progress that has been made in understanding the pathophysiology of and effectively treating and preventing interstitial cystitis and prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. The panel concluded that recent epidemiological evidence suggests that these urological disorders concur simultaneously with other, non-urological, symptom-based chronic pain disorders, including fibromyalgia. This new evidence will impact future research studies. Future research studies of the two syndromes will explore, in more detail, the relationship between these co-existing disorders.
“This important international NIDDK meeting helped to scientifically define the significance of the overlap of several chronic pain conditions including fibromyalgia,” says Gleason. “The information shared at this collaborative meeting was the beginning of a multidisciplinary scientific approach that should help investigators to broaden their views of chronic pain conditions and to contemplate the results of new studies, which should ultimately lead to better fibromyalgia diagnosis and treatment.”
The NIH program, referred to as MAPP—Multidisciplinary Approach to Pelvic Pain—is a long-term effort. A series of additional meetings will occur at later dates to evaluate the science.