Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Findings Suggest Fibromyalgia Is Neuropathic, Not Depression Variant


Small nerve fibers in subjects with fibromyalgia syndrome are impaired, Nurcan Uceyler, M.D., of the University of Wurzburg in Germany and colleagues report in the June Brain. This is not the case for matched control subjects or for subjects with depression who do not have fibromyalgia syndrome. "This strengthens the notion that fibromyalgia syndrome is not a variant of depression, but rather represents an independent entity that may be associated with depressive symptoms," the researchers said. Furthermore, the findings point "towards a neuropathic nature of pain in fibromyalgia syndrome."

Still other research results point to a similar conclusion. For example, individuals with fibromyalgia are known to have an abnormally low pain threshold. They also have abnormally low levels in their spinal fluid of metabolites of two neurotransmitters—serotonin and norepinephrine—and abnormally high levels of substance P, an amplifier of pain messaging.

For more details about these findings, as well as information about treatments for fibromyalgia patients, see Psychiatric News. Information about fibromyalgia syndrome can also be found in American Psychiatric Publishing's Pain: What Psychiatrists Need to Know.

(Image:decade3d/Shutterstock.com)

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