Research Studies

The Massachusetts General Hospital Nerve Unit (Department of Neurology) is a clinical and research laboratory dedicated to the clinical diagnosis and research on chronic pain. These are the on-going studies in our lab. If you are interested, please contact us for additional information.


Studies (Currently Enrolling)
Pathophysiology of Dystonia and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are accepting patients for this study, which aims to understand the reasons why some patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) develop dystonia. They also intend to explore if the reasons are different from other forms of dystonia. The study will help advance our understanding of CRPS and dystonia, about which very little is known. See study website.

Gulf War Illness

The Nerve Injury Unit, Dept of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital in conjunction with the Department of Defense, is studying Gulf War Illness in Veterans who served from 1990 to 1991, in the Gulf War Region. We are studying those with Gulf War Illness as well as veterans and civilians who don’t have Gulf War Illness. For more information, see Gulf War Illness Study.

Skin-Biopsy Study of Small-Diameter Nerve Fibers

We are trying to understand the connection between chronic pain and nerve damage, to improve diagnosis and treatment. A general term for this type of nerve damage is Peripheral Neuropathy. For more information, see: Skin-biopsy Study Brochure


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder, which is due to aging and wear and tear on a joint. We are recruiting patients with non-nerve pain to evaluate the results of tests for nerve pain. For more information, see: Osteoarthritis Study Brochure