EC Funding for Back Pain Research At Oswestry

Release Date: 16/07/2009

EC Funding for Back Pain Research At Oswestry

The European Commission has announced funding of €2.9 million for a five year research project called Genodisc, for which Oswestry’s Centre for Spinal Studies is a key research partner. The spinal research team at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital NHS Trust, Oswestry, has been awarded over €200,000 for a five year period.

The genetic research project aims to develop better diagnostic techniques and improve both the type and speed of treatment, in order to prevent acute back pain becoming a chronic disability.  Back pain is a major European problem, often due to poor diagnosis and treatment. In 85% of spinal problems, there is no clear diagnosis and no clinical consensus currently exists between different countries or doctors about treatment.

The Genodisc research will be led by a group from Oxford University and is being carried out in nine different countries: the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Israel and Slovenia. It aims to recruit thousands of patients into the study as large numbers will be required to determine any genetic link to complex disorders like back pain.

The Oswestry team is looking at how intervertebral disc cells age, the processes and how they behave differently as they grow older. Research scientists Janis Menage and Phil Jones will be working on this  project under the supervision of Professor Sally Roberts, in conjunction with Professor Eisenstein, Professor  McCall, Mr Trivedi and other consultant spinal surgeons at Oswestry.

Professor Sally Roberts commented, “This is good news for furthering our understanding of the strong genetic links with the degeneration of the intervertebral discs of the back. The surgeons at the hospital are all very supportive of this work and we are very grateful also to their patients who have agreed to be part of this important medical research. It is through the help and support of our study volunteers that we will be able to learn and help more patients with back pain in the future. ”

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