A full understanding of the mechanisms involved in chronic pain could make a significant difference in the quality of life of chronic pain patients, as well as healthcare costs and productivity. Previous clinical studies have found associations between pain conditions and levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP), a general indicator of inflammation in the body. This study examined the relationship between underlying pain sensitivity and CRP and other inflammatory markers.
This study was a multi-level examination of the relationship between pain perception/sensitivity and exercise, weight, sleep, psychological stress, and inflammatory markers such as CRP. Twins were studied in order to see if there are genes that contribute to the association between pain sensitivity and CRP.
Two hundred (200) same-sex twin pairs, both male and female, took part in this study. Both members of each pair visited the University of Washington Medical Center together for a half-day of study activities. These included collection of blood samples, completion of pain and sensitivity tasks (hot pain, cold pain, pressure pain and vibration), and responses to questions about pain, mood, stress, and other pain-related factors.
The study ended in March 2012. The data collected is currently in the early stages of analysis. Check back here for updates.