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  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Exploring the role of repetition suppression for symptoms in widespread and localised pain – an EEG study of patients with fibromyalgia or low back pain compared with healthy controls



  • Contact name

    Michael Lee

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Cambridge

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    2 years, 0 months, days

  • Research summary

    We have all experience muscle and joint aches and pain. For most of us, it is short-lived and goes away. In others, pain becomes continual, lasting for months or even years, and this is common for back pain.
    Less commonly, muscle and joint pain can be widespread without any obvious cause. There may also be sensations of heart palpitations, tiredness, difficulties with thinking and there can be sensitivity to noise or light. This condition is called fibromyalgia. For many patients, these symptoms reduce their quality of life and limit the capacity for work.
    We think that fibromyalgia may be caused by differences in the way the brain senses signals coming up from the body. The aim of the study is to test how efficiently the brain processes touch and sound. We will use a variety of methods to measure ‘efficiency’. These methods include questionnaires, quantitative sensory tests and electroencephalography (EEG).
    The plan is to compare results from three groups of people.
    (1) Those who have diagnosis of fibromyalgia made by a specialist
    (2) Those who have chronic back pain only
    (3) Those who are generally healthy and do not have any history of chronic pain lasting more than 3 months in their lives.

  • REC name

    London - Central Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    5 Jan 2018

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion