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By Focusing on These Two Symptoms, Animal Studies May Provide Bigger Benefit
Lai H, Gereau RW 4th, Luo Y, O’Donnell M, Rudick CN, Pontari M, Mullins C, Klumpp DJ. Animal Models of Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndromes: Findings From the Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic Pain Research Network. Urology. 2015 Jun;85(6):1454-65. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2015.03.007.
This article explains the importance of animal research in learning more about urologic chronic pelvic pain syndromes such as interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS). In particular, the researchers involved in the study sought to identify the rodent models that best reflect the key characteristics of these disorders as seen in humans. Toward that end, the researchers agreed that two primary characteristics–pelvic pain and urinary frequency–should be prioritized for assessment in animals. That’s in part because these two symptoms are clinically very significant in humans. They found that the animal models currently used today vary in their ability to characterize these two characteristics. The research in this paper amounts to a strategy that can be used, going forward, to evaluate existing or new animal models in the context of the symptoms that humans experience. The hope is that by using the strategy, basic research studies will provide findings that are more practical, relevant, and translatable to clinical research (i.e., studies in humans).