Today, a diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis or Chronic Prostatitis often means a lifetime of managed pain. Treatment may be hit-or-miss, and many patients express frustration at the lack of awareness and progress related to their condition.
The MAPP Research Network is dedicated to you. MAPP was established by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a division of the National Institute of Health. Our purpose is to study urologic chronic pelvic pain syndromes (UCPPS), a term that includes interstitial cystitis, bladder pain syndrome (or painful bladder syndrome), chronic prostatitis, and chronic pelvic pain syndrome. The goal is to take a different approach than previous studies and make some much needed progress in understanding why chronic pelvic pain happens, why symptoms get worse than usual at times, and why symptoms improve in some people but not in others.
Our first phase of research - called the Epidemiology and Phenotyping Study (also known as MAPP 1) - was completed in June 2014. We enrolled three different groups:
- patients with UCPPS
- participants who experience one of three different chronic pain disorders:
- healthy control participants - those without chronic pain
This was a year-long study comparing the behavior, genes, and environment of these three groups to determine what causes pain in some but not others. Study participants completed in-person visits that included a physical exam, pain sensitivity tests, and collection of biological specimens. In addition, participants completed questionnaires about their pain, medical history, emotions, lifestyle, and many other parts of daily life. Some MAPP Network sites also performed functional MRI scans of the brain, or held focus groups about the impact of UCPPS.
Findings from our first phase of research are just being submitted to medical journals for review and publishing. When articles are available we will be sure to post them on our publications page.
The University of Washington (UW) is proud to be involved as a research site in the MAPP Network. We are excited to launch our new UW MAPP website at www.mappuw.org. Our site is a complement to the main MAPP Network site, providing information about our research and an easy way to keep in touch with us.
Stay tuned for more information about MAPP 2!