My research aims to improve the treatment of chronic pelvic pain using genetics.
Women with chronic pelvic pain often have a neuropathic (nerve pain) component to their pain. In a recent clinical trial, we found that gabapentin, a neuropathic painkiller, did not improve pain compared to placebo, and had more side effects, in the majority of the women studied. However, experience tells us that gabapentin improves pain for some women, but we currently do not have any methods of predicting who will benefit most.
My work aims to address this by analysing common genetic variants in women with chronic pelvic pain. Combining this with clinical trial results could allow us to predict who may benefit from gabapentin treatment. This research aims to develop a personalised medicine approach to pain management and identify genes which may help us understand the biology of chronic pelvic pain and how to best treat it.