Download the full November 2002 AFSA Update as a PDF
AFSA Donations Are Impacting Research Directions
As AFSA enters its ninth year
of operation, the influence of your donations are widely evident. The projects
and the investigators funded by AFSA are making an impact in the medical journals,
at scientific meetings, and at The National Institutes of Health (NIH). There
is also evidence that the results of AFSA-funded projects are catching the
attention of the pharmaceutical industry. Although the projects funded by
AFSA are small in size, and many are designed as a stepping stone to larger
NIH-funded projects, here is a list of accomplishments made possible by your
- Eight medical journal articles
describing exciting new data from projects funded by AFSA have appeared
in the peer-reviewed medical literature over the past two years.
- Roughly an equal number of articles
pertaining to AFSA awards are either "in press" or about to be
submitted for publication to provide a continuous stream of medical journal
articles highly relevant to fibromyalgia patient issues.
- Over 35 presentations at major
scientific conferences were made by AFSA-funded researchers regarding the
outcomes of their projects, beginning in the year 1996 when Daniel Clauw,
M.D., presented two posters on autonomic dysfunction in patients with
FMS and CFS.
- At least five AFSA-funded projects
helped their principal investigators obtain substantial funding from NIH
and other large sources of biomedical research dollars. As more projects
near completion, AFSA-funded researchers will be able to use the data from
their projects to apply to NIH and other large granting institutions. The
end result is that the NIH is spending more money on FMS/CFS-related projects
because AFSA is increasing the number of qualified investigators with substantially
impressive data to procure NIH grants (typically $200,000 per year for 3-4
- Several AFSA-funded researchers
have written medical science book chapters incorporating their study findings
and conclusions, which further educates doctors in training and others interested
in the field.
- The training of new investigators
in the field of FMS/CFS has occurred as part of several AFSA-awards. For
example, an award that was made to Laurence Bradley, Ph.D., of University
of Alabama at Birmingham, to use brain SPECT imaging to show that FMS and
CFS are NOT depression has also helped train Leanne Cianfrini, M.S.,
who is working on her Ph.D. in this field. Serge Marchand, Ph.D.,
and Pierre Arsenault, M.D., Ph.D., of Canada, were awarded funding
by AFSA to evaluate the malfunctioning in the inhibitory pain control system
in patients with FMS, as well as study the drug, Effexor. In the process,
these two researchers have trained many others to help in their endeavors.
Referring to this subject, Marchand says, "We are in the process of
expanding our research in the field of fibromyalgia by enlarging our group
of people interested in trying to understand the neurophysiological mechanisms
of FMS pain.
AFSA is in the process of putting
together a special issue of the "Update" to discuss every project
funded, the results they produced (if completed) or a progress report (if
the project is still in the works), and input from each investigator on the
importance of their project, in terms of how it has enhanced (or will enhance)
our scientific understanding of FMS. Based on the substantial input that we
have received from AFSA-funded investigators so far, we anticipate that this
special issue will be 36-40 pages long. We will be mailing this issue
to people who have recently contributed to AFSA because we want donors to
read first-hand about the significance of their contribution!
Every Dollar Counts!
Our financial summary for the past
year (July 1, 2001 to June 30, 2002) appears in the table and pie chart below.
Our financials are not complicated. That's because we are all about one thingfunding
research. There are no salaries and very little overhead. Our focus, our hearts,
our volunteer efforts, and your donations go strictly to finding the cause
of and cure for fibromyalgia.
Financial Summary for July 1, 2001 to June 30, 2002
A more detailed financial report
will be included in the upcoming special issue, and it will soon be posted
to this site as well. In the expense column, two research grants were awarded
last year. One was to Luc Jasmin, M.D., Ph.D., at UC-San Francisco
($56,925 in July 2001) and the other was to Laurence Bradley, Ph.D.,
at the University of Alabama at Birmingham ($28,049 in January of 2002). The
latest project granted to Patrick Wood, M.D., at LSU ($37,450), does not appear
on AFSA's expense report because the award was not made until November of
2002. The educational expense includes the cost of two AFSA Updates to describe projects funded and free information packets that we mail to people
inquiring about AFSA. Operating expenses include office supplies, telephone
bills, postage expense, and other operating fees. As you can see, our overhead
is only 5%, meaning that 95% of all donations go to our mission.
AFSA began raising funds for research
in 1994 and awarded its first two projects in June of 1995. As of June 30,
2002 (our last year-end), AFSA has raised a total of $945,701. We have funded
23 high quality projects with the money raised so far, but our reserves are
dipping low. Join us in our goal to reach the million dollar mark so that
more patient-relevant projects can be funded in the year to come. Send AFSA
your tax-deductible donation today to keep the steady stream of progress going!
AFSA Funds its 23rd Project!
- Case-controlled study of Proton Spectroscopy in FMS
Visit our Projects Funded section for a detailed description.