I was searching fir something else on the Internet but stumbled across rid info about Fibromyalgia”. The authors name is at the bottom to make and give her credit. But I had to make sure and share this for those of you who follow me & who suffer from chronic pain &/ or “Fibromyalgia”. i hope this is interesting for you! love & hugs,
“NERVE DAMAGE IN FMS PATIENTS!!”
Nerve Damage Found in Nearly Half of Fibromyalgia Patients
Yahoo! Contributor Network Vonda J. Sines Aug 1, 2013
Massachusetts researchers who used a small group of subjects to study fibromyalgia found that nearly half the patients with the disorder had nerve problems. These individuals experienced damage to nerve fibers located in their skin and also showed evidence of a second illness.
A research team from Massachusetts General Hospital followed 27 adult fibromyalgia patients and 30 healthy subjects. In addition to signs of nerve damage in the fibromyalgia subjects, they found evidence of a disease known as small-fiber polyneuropathy (SFPN) in these patients, according to ScienceDaily.
Fibromyalgia is known as a particularly frustrating disorder for those who have it because not all medical professionals take it seriously. Since it’s difficult to treat, many patients need a team of healthcare providers.
Although experts have suggested a number of potential causes, none has been specifically linked to the illness. The National Institute of Muscular and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases reports that the condition strikes as many as 5 million American adults. Around 80 to 90 percent are women.
SFPN is a disorder marked by severe pain attacks that usually originate in the hands or the feet, although some patients experience a more generalized pain over the whole body, Genetics Home Reference reports. Many symptoms are similar to those fibromyalgia patients report. SFPN patients can’t feel pain that occurs in a very small area, like that from a pin prick. Some have trouble telling the difference between hot and cold, while for others, extreme temperatures trigger attacks.
SFPN is a form of peripheral neuropathy. It affects the peripheral nervous system, which links the brain and the spinal cord to muscles and cells that detect various sensations. Unlike fibromyalgia, it has a number of known causes that doctors can treat and sometimes cure.
The objective of the Massachusetts research was to explore any possible links between fibromyalgia and SFPN. The subjects completed questionnaires and underwent physical exams and tests to look for SFPN, including neuropathy assessments, skin biopsies to evaluate nerve fibers in the lower legs, and tests of autonomic functions like heart rate. The results showed significant neuropathy in patients with fibromyalgia, but not in the control subjects.
Thirteen fibromyalgia patients had a notable reduction in nerve fiber density, autonomic function test results that were abnormal, or both conditions. This indicates SFPN. While diabetes is a common SFPN cause, none of the patients appeared diabetic. Two had a hepatitis C infection. More than half showed signs of immune system dysfunction.
The researchers have published their findings in the journal PAIN. They concluded that their results provide some of the earliest evidence of a specific mechanism behind at least some cases of fibromyalgia. They look at the results as a step toward finding improved ways to treat the disorder. The next step — getting independent confirmation of the results from other labs — is already underway.
Vonda J. Sines has published thousands of print and online health and medical articles. She specializes in diseases and other conditions that affect the quality of life.