FM is a tangible medical condition with measurable symptoms. For example, physical causes of FM include changes in chemistry (Behm et al, 2012), in the grey matter (Emerson et al., 2014), and in brain waves (Gracely, Petzke, Wolf, & Clauw, 2002). In fact, the blood work of those with FM is unique; a blood test has been created to locate patterns suggesting FM. According to the company conducting this FM test, blood is examined for levels of certain white cell molecules (chemokines and cytokines), and irregular patterns in these suggest FM. The results are scored from one to 100, with FM patients having scores higher than 50. Sensitivity for the FM/a® Test is 93% (EpicGenetics, Inc., n.d., para. 9).
Additionally, Lopez-Sola et al. (2017) identified a combination of brain activities constituting a “neurological pain signature” in patients with FM (p. 34). They were able to distinguish FM patients and controls with 94% accuracy based solely on the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans—the neurological pain signature. The researchers compared brain reactions to pain in a group of 37 FM patients and a 35-member control group; they found three fMRI neurological patterns differentiating the two groups (Lopez-Sola et al, 2017).
***** Below: An excellent article from the authoritative medical journal MD LINE can help us get a handle on the array of changes to the body and brain that are related to Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. While the jargon is on the technical side, it is obvious that genuine physical issues come into play when one is dealing with these diseases.
"Central nervous system abnormalities in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome: new concepts in treatment."
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are poorly understood disorders that share similar demographic and clinical characteristics . . . and they may share common pathophysiological mechanisms, namely:
Central nervous system dysfunction
Atypical sensory processing in the central nervous system
Dysfunction of skeletal muscle nociception
Recent pharmacological treatment studies about fibromyalgia have focused on selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
*****Research paper by Oktayoglu, G. (2008) Current Pharm Des. Vol. 14(13):1274-94
Other ideas include a treatment suggestion by Sörensen et al (1995) who suggested that a possible treatment for fibromyalgia would be a drug that changes the levels of a certain brain chemical called NMDA.
******Sörensen J, Bengtsson A, Bäckman E, et al. Pain analysis in patients with fibromyalgia. Scan J Rheumatol 1995;24:360-5.
Behm, F. G., Gavin, I. M., Karpenko, O., Lindgren, V., Gaitonde, S., Gashkoff, P. A., & Gillis, B. S. (2012). Unique immunologic patterns in fibromyalgia. BMC Clinical Pathology, 12(1), 1-7. doi:10.1186/1472-6890-12-25.
Coghill, R. C. (2014). Pain sensitivity is inversely related to regional grey matter density in the brain. Pain, 155(3), 566-573. doi:10.1016/j.pain.2013.12.004
EpicGenetics.. (n.d.). A fundamental change in how fibromyalgia is treated. Retrieved from http://fmtest.com/
Gracely, R. H., Petzke, F., Wolf, J. M., & Clauw, D. J. (2002). Functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence of augmented pain processing in fibromyalgia. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 46(5). doi:10.1002/art.10225
Lopez-Sola, M., Woo, C., Pujol, J., Deus, J., Harrison, B., & Monfort, J. (2017). Towards a neurophysiological signature for fibromyalgia Pain, 158(1), 34–47. doi:10.1097/j.pain.00 00000000000707