Here are some articles I have written in the last year that are worth a read for FM awareness about recent research and important issues.
Canadian May 12 FM Awareness Events and Facebook Pages This of course was this years awareness article.
New study aiming for a bloodspot diagnostic test of fibromyalgia
A recent study published in Analyst, first published online 04 Apr 2013, investigated a potential bloodspot diagnostic The recent study published in BMC clinical Pathology and held by the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago (UIC) and EpicGenetics revealed research that has led to a to the first objective diagnostic test for fibromyaglia. This will significantly reduce the wait time for diagnosis in patients. However was the test put to market too quickly without enough validating research?test for Fibromyalgia and to differentiate the condition from other pain conditions such as osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is a rapid biomarker-based method using using mid-infrared microspectroscopy (IRMS) to identify molecular species associated with the spectral patterns of each condition in the study.It is a fascinating avenue for future research and for comparative analysis between FM and other pain conditions.
Study suggests fibromyalgia pain is caused by small fiber neuropathy
An intriguing study done in the University of Würzburg and published in Brain march 9, 2013 indicates fibromyalgia pain is due to small fiber neuropathy. There has been the suggestion of nerve dysfunction in the past but this would demonstrate nerve damage. While this was a generally small study if future research in this area indicates fibromyalgia indeed has small fiber neuropathy at the very least people with FM will have the very nature of their pain validated and at the most we can hope to see more research looking into the cause of this nerve damage.
Objective test for Fibromyalgia now on the market
The recent study published in BMC clinical Pathology and held by the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago (UIC) and EpicGenetics revealed research that has led to a to the first objective diagnostic test for fibromyaglia. This will significantly reduce the wait time for diagnosis in patients. However was the test put to market too quickly without enough validating research?
Study suggests Fibromyalgia might be an immunologic disorder
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a syndrome defined by chronic widespread pain with multiple tender points, fatigue, sleep dysfunction and abnormal pain processing. The syndrome can have many other associated symptoms as well but those can depend person to person. The cause of the syndrome is unknown but theories have revolved around the idea of a trauma or problem with the nervous system caused by injury, virus or essentially an automatic nervous system dysfunctional condition along with theories that speculate it is a sleep dysfunctional condition or it is autoimmune in nature. The role of immune system dysfunction had been downplayed in recent years due to the recent evidence to demonstrate the neurological components. If this new research into the immune system can be replicated it may very well be that Fibromyalgia is a neuroimmune syndrome in nature which could vastly change how it is looked at in research and treatment. In fact the method used in the research for their test could be used in the future diagnostically. (study that led to blood test now on market)
Fibromyalgia and chronic pain in danger of being labeled a mental disorder
There has been a great deal of concern over the addition of Somatic Symptom Disorder’s (SSD) addition to the Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) because of the potential for people with invisible disabilities to be misdiagnosed with this vague mental disorder.
Fibromyalgia treatment and burden of illness
Patients according to the Pain Medicine study reported yearly high health care usage and frequent work limitations in regards to their fibromyalgia disability. Most of the patients in the study experience significant disability, insomnia, symptoms of depression and/or anxiety and cognitive dysfunction. For example, “patients reported an impaired ability to focus/concentrate, a reduced ability to recall information, word-finding difficulties, and decreased mental clarity.”
Brain grey matter atrophy seen in fibromyalgia
There have been brain scans on fibromyalgia patients that have shown atrophy in specific areas on the brain. Does this suggest premature aging of the brain? We have to remember that these are not long term studies. They cannot determine for example if these areas were smaller to begin with which mean they would be more of a risk factor than an indication those areas are shrinking in size. Secondly they do not know the cause of the atrophy in the area. It is seen in other conditions just different locations of the brain. Stress and pain seem to be common factors but what neurotransmitters or mechanisms are causing the atrophy to occurs? Thirdly they do not know the rate of change over time. They have not taken individuals and looked at their brain changing over time and looked at how they are functioning. However, what it does tell us is what areas are being affected by FM and where the symptoms of FM are coming from and this is quite important for future research. They are looking to the brain. Studying it and seeing the differences and what effects that has. Researchers are looking at the where.
Cognitive dysfunction and fibromyalgia
When we are talking about poor cognitive function we have to be precise and to not confuse it with just be absentminded but studies have shown there are real cognitive dysfunctions occurring with fibromyalgia. What is the cause of the cognitive dysfunction seen in the syndrome though? Is the brain aging faster? Is it due to depression or anxiety? Or is it correlated to pain or lack of sleep?
Overview of Fibromyalgia and sleep dysfunction
Fibromyalgia and sleep dysfunction go hand in hand. Some researchers believe that fibromyalgia in essence is a sleep disorder but whether it is or not it definitely is an important component to the syndrome as a whole. Lack of sleep leads to physical and mental fatigue which increasing the brain fog associated with fibromyalgia. Non-restorative sleep has also been shown to increase the tender point pain found in fibromyalgia.