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Alabama researchers target brain abnormalities in ME

A team led by Professor Younger of the University of Alabama at Birmingham is investigating the role of brain inflammation in chronic pain and fatigue among Alabama’s 200,000 fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers.

Based at the Neuroinflammation, Pain and Fatigue Laboratory, the team will initially focus its attention on the properties of chemicals in the blood of pain and fatigue sufferers that may be responsible for oversensitizing the brain’s immune system, with funding from the NIH.

Younger previously found that leptin, an inflammatory chemical released by fat tissue, could be involved in chronic pain and fatigue, especially in women.

The team will utilize innovative immune testing, neuroimaging and pharmacology technologies and will also test novel treatment protocols.

Younger told UAB News: “In many cases, people suffering from chronic pain or fatigue will find that current treatments are just not effective. And many treatments are addictive or carry other significant risks.”


  • Katherine Shonesy, New UAB clinical research program to combat chronic pain and fatigue, UAB News, December 02, 2014, [article]
  • Neuroinflammation, Pain and Fatigue Laboratory, [website]

PHOTO: From left, Joanne Lin (PhD), Lisa Smoot (lab manager), Luke Parkitny (PhD), and Jarred Younger (PhD, lab director and associate professor of Psychology)


Written by Russell Logan


Russell Logan worked as a magazine publisher and editor until forced into early retirement through ill health with ME. He has battled with moderate to severe ME for 25 years. He now lives in Noosaville, Australia.

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