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

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

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 ...

Neuroscience

Neuron memory key to taming chronic pain

For some, the pain is so great that they can't even bear to have clothes touch their skin. For others, it means that every step is a deliberate and agonizing choice. Whether the pain is caused by arthritic joints, an injury ...

Health

Health Tip: Are Vitamin Supplements Worthwhile or Not?

(PhysOrg.com) -- You may be wondering at this point whether to toss those vitamins into your mouth or into the trash. That's not surprising since several recent reports have called the value of vitamins into question, leaving ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Does insulin resistance cause fibromyalgia?

Researchers led by a team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston were able to dramatically reduce the pain of fibromyalgia patients with medication that targeted insulin resistance.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Study links adult fibromyalgia to childhood sexual abuse

A new Tel Aviv University study finds that fibromyalgia syndrome—a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain, fatigue and cognitive difficulties—may be a consequence of post-traumatic physical and psychological ...

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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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