UAB researcher receives funding for rheumatology study

A pilot grant was recently awarded to UAB to investigate a noninvasive method of detecting neuroinflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.

jarrod younger 2016The Rheumatology Research Foundation recently awarded Jarred W. Younger, Ph.D., director of the University of Alabama at BirminghamNeuroinflammation, Pain and Fatigue Laboratory, with a pilot grant to fund his research in rheumatology. Younger, an associate professor in the College of Arts & Sciences’ Department of Psychology with secondary appointments in Anesthesiology and Rheumatology in the School of Medicine, will use the funding for a study on brain thermometry, a noninvasive method for detecting neuroinflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.

“Using a thermometer is common in finding out if you have a fever or not,” Younger said. “Brain thermometry will someday allow physicians to do the same thing with the brain, giving us a chance to measure neuroinflammation that causes significant pain, fatigue, cognitive function and depressed mood. Brain inflammation may explain why individuals with rheumatoid arthritis complain of fatigue and other symptoms, even though their joint inflammation is reduced by medication.”

The pilot grants encourage established investigators to begin tests of novel research ideas into arthritis and related inflammatory diseases by providing seed funds to gather preliminary data.

Younger is one of 85 rheumatology trainees and professionals who recently received awards from the Rheumatology Research Foundation.

The recipients, ranging from medical students and residents to experienced investigators and rheumatologists, will receive funding for essential education and training, as well as innovative research projects. Their applications were closely examined by experts in different areas of the field through an extensive peer review process.