There are several main innovative research themes that are currently underway in the AEPMU:
The medical use of cannabinoids: Unique clinical studies looking at the analgesic effect of cannabis in patients with chronic pain and its long-term safety, and the use of synthetic cannabinoids in these patients. Dr. Mark Ware has been recognized internationally as a leader in this field, bringing peer-reviewed and pharmaceutical grant support and has enhanced the profile of the MUHC at the federal governmental level in terms of the regulation of these substances.
Dietary changes for pain management: Under the leadership of Dr. Yoram Shir, a unique basic and clinical research program pertaining to the effect of dietary ingredients on chronic pain has been developed, supported by international peer-reviewed grants. This line of research is unique to the MUHC since only one or two other similar programs exist in the world.
Fibromyalgia: Dr. Mary-Ann Fitzcharles has recruited one of the only cohorts of fibromyalgia patients in North America and is following them in a long- term, prospective study of individually tailored treatment regimens in collaboration with the basic scientists of the Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain. This project, with 200 patients already enrolled, will provide invaluable information on the natural history of patients with fibromyalgia managed in a multidisciplinary centre.
Link between fibromyalgia and the patients' microbiome: Dr. Shir and Dr.Fitzcharles are directing a research to link the importance of patients' microbiome and fibromyalgia. Dr. Amir Minerbi, a pain specialist and the 2017-2019 McGill l Pain Clinical Research Fellow is the main responsible of this project.
Collaboration with family medicine to study narcotic analgesics.
Dr. Kudrina is an academic family physician and is the principal investigator of several research projects. She is a liaison physician interested in the development of strong collaboration and communication strategies to improve interdisciplinary pain care. Her other research focus is on assessing the use of narcotic analgesics in the treatment of chronic pain in primary care. The endogenous opioid and cannabinoid systems play an important role in the development and function of several human organ systems. Their interaction influences multiple physiological and pathophysiological processes, and could be altered by the exogenous agents like narcotic analgesics. Dr. Kudrina leads and/or collaborates on several projects looking into the prolonged use and clinically relevant pathophysiological effects of narcotic analgesics in primary care based pain management.