Fibromyalgia (FM or FMS) is a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain and allodynia, a heightened and painful response to pressure. It is an example of a diagnosis of exclusion. Fibromyalgia symptoms are not restricted to pain, leading to the use of the alternative term fibromyalgia syndrome for the condition. Other symptoms include debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbance, and joint stiffness. Some patients may also report difficulty with swallowing, bowel and bladder abnormalities, numbness and tingling, and cognitive dysfunction. Fibromyalgia is frequently comorbid with psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety and stress-related disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder. Not all people with fibromyalgia experience all associated symptoms. Fibromyalgia is estimated to affect 2–4% of the population, with a female to male incidence ratio of approximately 9:1. The term "fibromyaglia derives from new Latin, fibro-, meaning "fibrous tissues", Greek myo-, "muscle", and Greek algos-, "pain"; thus the term literally means "muscle and connective tissue pain")

The brains of fibromyalgia patients show structural and behavioral differences from those of healthy individuals, but it is unclear whether the brain anomalies cause fibromyalgia symptoms or are the product of an unknown underlying common cause. Some research suggests that these brain anomalies may be the result of childhood stress, or prolonged or severe stress.

Historically, fibromyalgia has been considered either a musculoskeletal disease or neuropsychiatric condition. Although there is as yet no cure for fibromyalgia, some treatments have been shown by controlled clinical trials to effectively reduce symptoms, including medications, behavioral interventions, patient education, and exercise. The most recent approach of a diagnosis of fibromyalgia involves pain index and a measure of key symptoms and severity.

Fibromyalgia has been recognized as a diagnosable disorder by the US National Institutes of Health and the American College of Rheumatology. Fibromyalgia, a central nervous system disorder, is described as a 'central sensitisation syndrome' caused by neurobiological abnormalities which act to produce physiological pain and cognitive impairments as well as neuro-psychological symptomatology. Despite this, some medics do not consider fibromyalgia a disease because of a lack of abnormalities on physical examination and the absence of objective diagnostic tests.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Genes for a longer, healthier life found

Out of a 'haystack' of 40,000 genes from three different organisms, scientists at ETH Zurich and a research consortium in Jena have found genes that are involved in physical ageing. If you influence only one of these genes, ...

Watching eyes prevent littering

People are less likely to drop litter if it has printed eyes on it, researchers at Newcastle University, UK, have found. An image of watching eyes reduced the odds of littering by around two thirds.

Anxiety can kill your social status

Neuroscientists at EPFL identify a brain region that links anxious temperament to low social status. The researchers were able to tweak social hierarchy in animals by using vitamin B3.

Wiring rules untangle brain circuitry

Our brains contain billions of neurons linked through trillions of synaptic connections, and although disentangling this wiring may seem like mission impossible, a research team from Baylor College of Medicine took on the ...

Higher cigarette taxes linked to fewer infant deaths

Higher taxes and prices for cigarettes are strongly associated with lower infant mortality rates in the United States, according to a new study from Vanderbilt University and the University of Michigan released Dec. 1 in ...

Researchers grow retinal nerve cells in the lab

Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a method to efficiently turn human stem cells into retinal ganglion cells, the type of nerve cells located within the retina that transmit visual signals from the eye to the brain. ...