A UAB associate professor says the cause of conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are related to brain inflammation. Jarred Younger, Ph.D. is looking at ways to fight back against this possible fatigue source.
“We believe that in many cases when someone is suffering from chronic pain or fatigue, they may be suffering from low-level inflammation in their brain,” Younger says, “We are investigating ways to return the brain to its normal state.”
Younger, along with his team, recently developed immune testing, neuroimaging, and pharmacology technology in efforts to better understand the reasons people develop fatigue and chronic pain. They are also testing new treatments for those disorders.
The team uses recently developed technologies in immune testing, neuroimaging and pharmacology to better understand the reasons people develop chronic pain and fatigue. They also are testing new treatments for those disorders.
“In many cases, people suffering from chronic pain or fatigue will find that current treatments are just not effective,” Younger says. “And many treatments are addictive or carry other significant risks. There is, therefore, a great need to develop better treatments.”
“Ultimately, we hope to find objective tests for diagnosis and targets for new treatments so these individuals can get their lives back,” Younger says. “UAB’s growing interest in these conditions should bring hope to many.”
The first study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, will explore chemicals in the blood which may overly sensitize the brain’s immune system, causing the symptoms. Younger’s group recently founded chemicals released by fat tissue leptin might be involved in chronic pain and fatigue.
The laboratory will be recruiting people with several different chronic pain and fatigue conditions, including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, which is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, and Gulf War Illness.