Does Nerve Damage Play a Role in Fibromyalgia?

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In a recent study of patients suffering from fibromyalgia, nearly half of the patients were recorded as having moderate to severe nerve damage in their skin cells.

The nerve damage done to the nerve fibers has been deemed small-fiber polyneuropathy, or SFPN. Small-fiber polyneuropathy is caused by a few specific medical conditions.

Currently, there is no known cause of fibromyalgia, so this nerve damage discovery could make some advances in the direction of finding what exactly causes the disorder.

Fibromyalgia disorders differentiate patient to patient but the typical symptoms include widespread chronic pain, extreme fatigue, and hypersensitivity to pain and pressure. The disorder disproportionally affects women in comparison to men.

Looking at nerve damage

There have been some advances made concerning how to properly diagnose the disorder, but its pathology still remains a mystery. Fibromyalgia has some of the same symptoms as small-fiber polyneurotherapy in that small-fiber polyneurotherapy has caused widespread chronic pain in the individuals that have been diagnosed with it.

The study was conducted on 27 adults with the fibromyalgia disorder and a group of 30 healthy individuals that had volunteered for the study. The same tests that are used in the diagnoses of small-fiber polyneurotherapy were used to test the participants of the study. The tests included a physical examination and administration of a questionnaire.


Additionally, the researches administered skin biopsies the help with the evaluation of nerve fibers in the patients’ legs and the monitoring of blood pressure, sweating, and the patients’ heart rates.

Neuropathy was found in very high counts in the fibromyalgia patients, while the group of healthy individuals seemed normal. Thirteen of the 27 fibromyalgia patients were recorded as individuals with reduced levels of nerve fibers density in their skin.

Those some thirteen individuals also had odd autonomic function test results. Because of these results, it was presumed that these thirteen individuals had small-fiber polyneurotherapy.

While the conclusions drawn from this test does not suggest a cause in the development of all fibromyalgia conditions, it does give researchers some evidence as to what causes fibromyalgia in at least some patients.

The fibromyalgia disorder is very intricate, unique, and complex disorder. Its symptoms and severity are different in each patient that it affects. Because of this unique differentiation, there is no one explanation for the development of fibromyalgia.

This process could take months or years before answers are found as to what are the primary causes of fibromyalgia. Before work on a cure of fibromyalgia can be done, researchers must first find what exactly causes the disorder to develop in patients.

This study is currently the one of its kind. The results have recently been published so other laboratories should soon begin creating their own tests and experiments according to the blueprint this study has constructed.

Some may have already started with a few adaptations. The search for a better diagnosis of fibromyalgia is an ongoing one.

And finding better treatments for those individuals that have been inflicted by the fibromyalgia disorder is one of the top priorities when its comes to this unique disorder.


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