Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Experimental blood test accurately spots fibromyalgia

For the first time, researchers have evidence that fibromyalgia can be reliably detected in blood samples—work they hope will pave the way for a simple, fast diagnosis.

Neuroscience

People with fibromyalgia have inflammation of the brain

The causes of the difficult-to-treat pain syndrome fibromyalgia are largely unknown. Using PET brain imaging, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Massachusetts General Hospital have now shown that glial cells – the ...

Neuroscience

Does an exploding brain network cause chronic pain?

A new study finds that patients with fibromyalgia have brain networks primed for rapid, global responses to minor changes. This abnormal hypersensitivity, called explosive synchronization (ES), can be seen in other network ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Hyperbaric hope for fibromyalgia sufferers

Women who suffer from fibromyalgia benefit from a treatment regimen in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, according to researchers at Rice University and institutes in Israel.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Fibromyalgia is not all in your head, new research confirms

Fibromyalgia, a painful condition affecting approximately 10 million people in the U.S., is not imaginary after all, as some doctors have believed. A discovery, published this month in Pain Medicine/i> (the journal of the ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Neural signature for fibromyalgia may aid diagnosis, treatment

University of Colorado Boulder researchers have discovered a brain signature that identifies fibromyalgia sufferers with 93 percent accuracy, a potential breakthrough for future clinical diagnosis and treatment of the highly ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Solving the mysteries of fibromyalgia could help patients break free

For 10 years, Gail De Sciose felt that pain controlled her activities, her schedule, her every move. She often found herself sprawled on the floor of her Birmingham home, sharp pains radiating down her neck, back, and hips. ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Link between DNA and chronic widespread joint pain

Scientists at King's College London, funded by the charity Arthritis Research UK, have found a link between changes in marks on the outside of DNA (epigenetics) and chronic widespread joint pain, one of the main symptoms ...

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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia (new Latin, fibro-, fibrous tissues, Gk. myo-, muscle, Gk. algos-, pain, meaning muscle and connective tissue pain; also referred to as 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 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 demonstrated by controlled clinical trials to be effective in reducing 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 National Institutes of Health and the American College of Rheumatology. Fibromyalgia, a central nervous system disorder, is described as a 'central sensitisaton syndrome' caused by neurobiological abnormalities which act to produce physiological pain and cognitive impairments as well as psychological symptomatology. Despite this there are some members of the medical community who do not consider fibromyalgia a disease because of a lack of abnormalities on physical examination and the absence of objective diagnostic tests.

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