Our Goal

To better understand the underlying causes of Interstitial Cystitis and Chronic Prostatitis. We hope that our research will lead to better treatment options for urologic chronic pelvic pain. 


Other Participating Sites

In addition to our site, the MAPP Research Network has discovery sites all across the country. Some sites specialize in data or sample processing, while others focus on participant recruitment. 

Visit the MAPP Network's Website for more information about other recruitment sites.

Our Site

Our site is located in Seattle, Washington. We are a collaboration between the University of Washington and Washington State University.

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Our History

The MAPP Research Network was established by the NIDDK in 2008 to study the underlying causes of:

These conditions are known collectively as Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndromes (UCPPS).

Prior research has done little to improve the understanding of UCPPS. Previous studies looked for bladder-specific or prostate-specific causes only, believing that the likely reason for the condition was damage to or inflammation of that part of the body. This approach was unsuccessful. Research on other chronic pain disorders, however, provided a clue for how to best approach the study of UCPPS. It was found that the pain in conditions like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or irritable bowel syndrome is influenced by problems with the central nervous system, rather than just a particular area or organ. The central nervous system is the control center for the body and includes the brain and spinal cord. This control center sends and receives information (including signals that you are in pain) via a network of nerves throughout the entire body. Therefore, pain felt in one area of the body can be influenced by a signal from somewhere else. Using this clue about other chronic pain conditions, MAPP built a whole-body approach to the study of UCPPS. Rather than focusing on only the bladder or prostate, MAPP looked at how other factors might affect symptom changes. These factors included pain in other areas of the body, genes, environment,  emotions, and more.

To conduct this novel approach, MAPP and the NIDDK created a research network that connected universities all across the United States and Canada. Each site has a specific role. Some are responsible for study participant recruitment and others specialize in data collection, organization and analysis 

MAPP's first longitudinal study spanned from 2009 to 2014. With the knowledge gained from this first phase of research, MAPP designed the Symptom Patterns Study, which is still in the process of recruiting and collecting data.


How Can You Help?

Join the effort to better understand chronic pelvic pain. Volunteer to participate in the MAPP study!

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