Obesity-Driven Chronic Pain

Understanding the contribution of endocannabinoid system dysregulation in pain processing in obese adolescents

Full Project Name:Obesity-driven Dysregulation of the Endocannabinoid System in Chronic PainPrinciple Investigator:Keri Hainsworth, PhD, AnesthesiologyCo-Investigator:Cecilia Hillard, PhD, Pharmacology and Toxicology; Steven J. Weisman, MD, AnesthesiologyAward Amount:$200,000
Award Date
January2018
Project Duration:24 months

Project Description Narrative:


Obesity is a global health concern, with over 2.1 billion people currently overweight or obese. In Wisconsin, 73% of adults and 23% of children age 2 to 17 years are overweight or obese. On average, 90% of obese adolescents will remain obese into their 30s.

Obesity-related health concerns affecting Wisconsin residents include diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, mood disorders and obesity-related cancer. It is estimated that 40% of obese individuals also have chronic pain. Endocannabinoid signaling is an endogenous analgesic system known to be dysregulated in obesity.

Through this award, the research team aims to understand the contribution of endocannabinoid system dysregulation in pain processing in obese adolescents, with the long-term aim to develop novel treatments for pain that may lead to the avoidance of costly outcomes associated with obesity and co-morbid chronic pain later in life.

Project Updates:


Project has not yet entered reporting period

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