Fibromyalgia Project Wins One of Three Purdue Pharma Research Grants for Chronic Pain and Pain Assessment

A research project focused on developing an objective measure of pain-related interference with cognitive performance in people with fibromyalgia is one of three awarded research grants recently by Purdue Pharma.

An independent steering committee oversaw the competition and selection of the three recipients of Purdue’s research grants to study chronic pain and the assessment of pain.

Robert R. Edwards, PhD, of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, will lead the project dedicated to pain in fibromyalgia. The project is titled “Development and application of an objective measure of pain-related interference with cognition.”

The goal is to identify a set of cognitive tasks that are affected by variations in pain levels when they are being performed. Once an appropriate set of tasks is developed, they will be used in a randomized, controlled trial to test an intervention designed to improve cognitive performance in this patient population.

Another of the selected projects, led by David A. Seminowicz, PhD, at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore, is titled “Development of a reliable neurophysiological pain assessment tool: alpha as a predictive biomarker (APB).”


This study aims to determine if EEG alpha wave activity is an accurate and reliable measure of acute pain and neuropathic pain (chronic pain resulting from injury to the nervous system) in healthy volunteers. Alpha waves are a type of brain wave that allow the assessment of electrical impulses in the brain that reflect the brain’s activity.

The third project, led by Tassilo Baeuerle, president and chief executive officer at CognifiSense, Sunnyvale, California, is titled “Study on the use of virtual reality for pain measurement.”

The goal of this research is to explore the potential for the use of virtual reality technology as a tool in the assessment of chronic pain. Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment that can be explored interactively by a person.

The study will also evaluate the potential of using movement, among other measures, to assess pain intensity. The association of specific movements with pain will be investigated.

“We are excited to support three investigator-led studies, which we believe will contribute important new information to our body of knowledge about the assessment of chronic pain,” Monica Kwarcinski, PharmD, head of Medical Affairs, Purdue Pharma, said in a press release.

“The assessment of pain levels is important in making a correct diagnosis, determining appropriate therapy, and studying responses to treatment. By addressing these data gaps through research funding, we remain committed to offering innovative solutions to make a meaningful impact on patients’ lives.” Kwarcinski added.

Purdue is a pharmaceutical company founded by physicians, and it is known for its pioneering research on pain.

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