The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association, Inc.

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AFSA is an all volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research that investigates the causes and treatments for fibromyalgia syndrome.

A 501(c)3 Nonprofit Charitable Organization.

The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association (AFSA)
is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research that accelerates the pace of medical discoveries to improve the quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia.

Make a DonationThrough donations, AFSA supports studies that seek out the causes and treatments for fibromyalgia. This is an extremely painful, fatiguing, and often debilitating medical condition that affects 3 percent of the population. By stepping up research on fibromyalgia, AFSA and its generous contributors are working together to make a substantial difference in the lives of millions.

Grant Application & InstructionsAFSA-funded research is currently focused on identifying markers for the disease and examining alterations in brain function that may be responsible for the symptoms. The end goal is effective treatments. A trial funded by AFSA showed that low-dose naltrexone (LDN) significantly relieved fibro pain in one out of four patients. This is better than any of the FDA-approved drugs for the condition, but more work is needed.

LDN targets the microglia, which are cells in your central nervous system that outnumber your neurons by a factor of three. While other drugs often prescribed for fibro alter the way your neurons function, LDN exerts an anti-inflammatory effect on the microglia to calm them down. When microglia are in an inflammatory state, they can control how the neurons in your brain and spinal cord work ... or in the case of fibromyalgia, how they misbehave to produce your symptoms.

If you have already tried anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, you may be wondering: What makes LDN any different? LDN works in the brain, not in the peripheral tissues (e.g., blood, muscles or joints) where traditional anti-inflammatory agents exert their effects. So, if routine blood tests to pick up inflammation in the periphery have failed, that is likely because the inflammatory process is occurring in your brain.

A better understanding of what is going on in the brain, especially the microglia, is essential for developing effective treatments for fibromyalgia. How exactly are the microglia malfunctioning? What might be triggering them to persistently act up? Are there any markers in the blood or brain that may signal a disruption of microglia function? Getting answers to these questions is key to designing therapies that work for everyone.

Research to address the above questions is a tall order, but two ambitious studies funded by AFSA in 2019 and 2020 provide a generous down payment toward answering them. These studies will be completed in 2022 and you can read more about them in our Projects Funded section.

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The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association, Inc. (AFSA)
PO Box 32698, Tucson, AZ 85751 • Phone: (520) 733-1570 • Fax: (520) 290-5550
Federal Tax I.D. 77-0355224 • Copyright © 1998-2021

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Patients should always consult their physician for medical advice and treatment.