Assistant professor receives funding to investigate interstitial cystitis

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BY YASMINE PEZESHKPOUR MCM '16

Jason Kutch was recently awarded a $50,000 research grant from the Interstitial Cystitis Association to determine whether transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can be used to successfully treat interstitial cystitis.

Kutch believes interstitial cystitis, a condition characterized by chronic bladder and pelvic pain and pressure affecting more than 12 million Americans, may be caused by the way the brain signals the pelvic floor muscles. To test his hypothesis, he and his team will use TMS, a non-invasive treatment currently used for depression, to activate certain brain areas with magnetic fields to see if they can make them work better.

"The science tells us that an important part of interstitial cystitis may be pelvic floor muscles, and the parts of the brain that control them, may not be working well," Kutch said. "The goal of this project is to turn science into treatment."

The award is a one-year, $50,000 grant that funds new and unique studies to answer questions about the otherwise incurable syndrome. Kutch was one of two recipients of this year's award.

In addition to serving as assistant professor at the division since 2011, Kutch is the director of the Applied Mathematical Physiology Laboratory, which investigates neural mechanisms for muscle activation and applies these findings to understand and treat neuromuscular chronic pain disorders.

Posted 09.08.2016