Lectures

Small Fibers, Big Pain: New Research on Fibromyalgia and Small Fiber Neuropathy

Epidemics Science Lecture Series

Lecture by Anne Louise Oaklander, director of the Nerve Unit, director of the neurodiagnostic skin biopsy laboratory, and assistant in pathology (neuropathology), Massachusetts General Hospital; associate professor of neurology, Harvard Medical School

Fibromyalgia and Gulf War syndrome—all in the mind, right? New research from Harvard and elsewhere shows that almost half of these sufferers have damage to small nerve endings that carry pain and itch sensations and control blood pressure, tissue oxygenation, and movement of the GI tract. In this talk, Anne Louise Oaklander will discuss her new findings about small-fiber neuropathy and explain how damage to these nerve fibers can lead to chronic fatigue, nausea, and even brain fog. With her team’s discovery that women, young adults, and children may be susceptible to autoimmune causes that can be treated, she will review the recommended diagnostic tests and available treatment options. This talk may provide people suffering from widespread unexplained chronic pain with information that their doctors do not yet know—and that could offer a path back towards health.

Free and open to the public.

Doors open at 4:45 p.m.; lecture begins at 5 p.m.


Part of the 2017–2018 Epidemics Science Lecture Series. A larger, one-day public symposium on the topic was held on Friday, October 27, 2017.