EATRIS Finland launches service development of biomarkers for chronic low back pain
Chronic low back pain is one of the most common causes for sick-leave and early retirement (nearly one third of all), causing considerable economic losses and personal suffering worldwide. In the acute and sub-acute phases of episodes of low back pain, there is a need for accurate and timely diagnostics, as well as for objective biomarkers that would enable prediction of the risk of the episode to evolve into a state of chronic low back pain. Reliable diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers could enable appropriate allocation of the most effective treatments in the acute or sub-acute phases to high-risk patients, in order to lower the total burden of chronic low back pain. The majority of patients with persistent low back pain suffer from neuropathic pain; the currently available medications are efficacious in only approximately 40 % of these patients. Therefore, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology of Turku University Hospital, Finland, has undertaken a project to test novel investigations for the diagnostics, classification and prognostication of low-back pain of either neuropathic or musculo-skeletal origin. EATRIS Finland contributes to the project through two EATRIS platforms: Imaging and Tracing platform by providing relevant PET imaging at Turku PET Centre, Turku, and Biomarkers platform by providing DNA analyses at Institute of Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), Helsinki for the project. When successful, the services may also be provided for Pharma industry to enhance the drug development for these diseases.