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Neural and muscular mechanisms of fatigue in fibromyalgia syndrome and old age

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, April 12, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description


1. To characterize the sensations of fatigue in FMS patients in relation to recent-past and present levels of physical activity.
2. To determine the extent to which FMS patients are able/willing to exert maximal effort during a sustained contraction of a single muscle group (knee extensors).
3. To compare FMS patients’ perceptions of exertion with their physiological responses to a progressive aerobic exercise test.

Methodology and Innovations

This research will involve patients with FMS and age- and sex-matched healthy controls. All will complete questionnaires to establish lifestyle and general fatigue along with assessments of muscle size using magnetic resonance imaging; low and moderate intensity exercise on a stationary cycle; and tests of strength and fatigability during static contractions of the thigh muscles. This will also involve application of cutting-edge techniques from clinical neurophysiology. From these tests we will compare ratings of perceived exertion with objective responses of heart rate, blood pressure and muscle activity, allowing us to determine “central” and “peripheral” determinants of fatigue in the various groups.


Applicants must apply using the online form on the University Alliance website at Full details of the programme, eligibility details and a list of available research projects can be seen at

The final deadline for application is 12 April 2019.

Funding Notes

DTA3/COFUND participants will be employed for 36 months with a minimum salary of (approximately) £20,989 per annum. Tuition fees will waived for DTA3/COFUND participants who will also be able to access an annual DTA elective bursary to enable attendance at DTA training events and interact with colleagues across the Doctoral Training Alliance(s).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.

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