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.

May 2005 AFSA Update
Volume 11, Issue 1

Download the full May 2005 AFSA Update as a PDF.

Four Projects Funded in 2004!

During AFSA's eleventh year of operation, it awarded four research studies totaling $174,475. The number of AFSA awards had reached a lull during the past two years, but in the beginning of 2004, we received four excellent proposals! Roland Staud, M.D., has previously been funded by AFSA, but his new project represents an entirely different area of study. Manuel Martinez-Lavin, M.D., is a published fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) researcher in Mexico City who has never been funded by AFSA, but he presented a budget-conscious proposal to evaluate a genetic link to fibromyalgia pain that absolutely deserved to be funded. We also received a proposal by an investigator who is new to the field of FMS/CFS pain, Linda Watkins, Ph.D., to study human cells in the central nervous system. This procedure has never been done before, although several animal models for painful conditions clearly implicate these cells in the development of chronic pain. Watkins is world-renowned for the fabulous advances she has made in the understanding of how the immune system communicates to the nervous system, so her interest in FMS/CFS pain should be viewed as a tremendous boost to this field of study. Finally, John Stewart, Ph.D., who has been working on a project for AFSA to develop a new class of drugs, has been awarded a second grant to complete the final steps of his amazing work. The high diversity of projects funded by AFSA helps to ensure that every aspect of your condition is receiving the serious attention that it deserves.

As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) becomes more tight with its money (due to budgetary constraints under wartime conditions), more investigators are turning to AFSA for help with beefing up their applications to the NIH. Due to lack of funds, applications without preliminary data (i.e., those that have been seeded by AFSA) don't stand much of a chance at the NIH. There is a bright side to this picture: if AFSA continues to funnel money to researchers who are doing scientifically-based studies (instead of psychosocial projects), then AFSA will play a stronger role in the future direction of FMS/CFS research at the NIH level. In other words, the large-dollar NIH awards will more likely be given to the investigators previously funded by AFSA (because they will have high quality preliminary data to substantiate their theories), while the psycho-babblists will have a slim chance of getting the large awards from the NIH. Although the economy is tough on everyone, now is the time that patients have the greatest power to invoke influence over which FMS/CFS projects are eventually funded by the NIH.

It's been a long time since AFSA's last publication (the 60-page Special Edition), but AFSA is thankful for the people who continued to donate to our research-funding mission despite not being routinely prompted to do so. Although we try to keep costs down, this Update is long overdue! However, the description of the four projects awarded in 2004 is a strong affirmation to our continued perseverance to fund quality research for the benefit of patients worldwide.

Your Dollars Go To Research

Our financial summary for the past fiscal year (July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2004) appears in the table below and as you can see, our mission is straightforward: we fund research. Less than 5% of your donations are used for continuing AFSA’s operating costs because we are an all-volunteer organization and we have no overhead (we receive all in-kind services free from Fibromyalgia Network). We are proud of our finances and will gladly send United States residents our IRS-990 report. All we ask is that you mail us a self-addressed, stamped envelope (9"x12" size) with $4.60 postage so that we can keep expenses to a minimum.

AFSA is picky about the projects it funds. We don’t fund behavioral studies or “do-it-yourself approaches” and all proposals must be budget-conscious. For unknown reasons, AFSA only received one application worthy of funding during the prior fiscal year (July 2002-June 2003). This created an increase in our fund balances, which were put to good use with the awarding of four exceptional grants during this fiscal year. As a result, our net fund balance dropped by $65,833 to leave us with $133,135 on June 30, 2004. Your charitable contributions are definitely needed to help us continue with our research-funding mission!

Financial Summary for July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2004
Revenue Expenses
Research Grants:
Interest & Other:
Note Cards:
Operating Expense:
Total Revenue:
Total Expenses:

Four Project Funded in 2004

  • The Role of Inflammation for Pain in Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome
  • Translation from Animals to Humans: Are Chronic Pain States in Humans Associated with Glial Activation in Spinal Cord and/or Brain?
  • Association of Fibromyalgia with the Low Activity Catechol-O-Methyl-Transferase (COMT) Alleles
  • Part 2: Cloning a Pain Neuropeptide Receptor

Visit our Projects Funded section for detailed descriptions.

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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 © 1998-2011

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