Fibromyalgia: What we now know

Fibromyalgia: What we now know

Patrick B. Wood, MD
Senior Medical Advisor
National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association

For years, people affected by fibromyalgia have had to contend with being told by well-meaning clinicians that there was "nothing wrong with them" despite the clear indication from their bodies to the contrary. The reason for the apparent contradiction between the experience of symptoms and the lack of pathological findings to which symptoms might be linked stems from limitations inherent to standard laboratory testing and medical imaging. In contrast, we now know that far from having "nothing" wrong, persons with fibromyalgia are affected by several pathophysiological processes that may be linked to symptom development and expression.

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Fibromyalgia Has Been Perplexing

For decades diagnosing fibromyalgia has been a perplexing problem for healthcare professionals. This dilemma partly originates in the fact that not many medical schools teach their students about fibromyalgia (FM) as a viable medical illness let alone instruct them about how to administer simple, straightforward, available FM diagnostic criteria. Today there are at least three published FM diagnostic criteria along with the advent of the FM/a diagnostic Blood Test created and executed by Genetic Laboratories. Although this blood test is not yet covered by insurance, it appears that it will begin to be approved for coverage by the end of 2014 and maybe as early as August of this year.

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Second Study on Blood Test for FM

A second study on a blood test for fibromyalgia was reported at the 2013 American College of Rheumatology meeting.

On July, 8, 2012, information about a diagnostic blood test for fibromyalgia that was scientifically researched at the University of Illinois at Chicago was published in BCM Clinical Pathology. The creator of this blood test, Dr. Bruce Gillis, was also an author on the paper and helped oversee the study at the University of Illinois. In this first study, a total of 110 fibromyalgia patients and 91 control subjects were recruited. Cytokines in stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBCM) cultures were significantly increased as compared to non-stimulated PBCM samples. (A combination of several interleukins was used as the stimulant). In contrast, the concentrations of most cytokines were lower in stimulated samples from patients with FM compared to controls.


 

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Peripheral Pain Generators In Fibromyalgia

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Dan Claw: Confronting the Stigma of Opioid Use Disorder— and Its Treatment

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