Monday, July 26, 2010

Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Physical Evidence



The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) is the top scientific organization in the field of pain research. An awesome group. (A brief description and historical review can be found in the book Unbelievable Pain Control).

A recent issue of PAIN: Clinical Updates (published by IASP) gives a brief, but pithy, summary of new research in fibromyalgia. These updates are available for reading from this link.

Here are some findings cited by Dr. Claudia Sommer, from the Neurological Clinic, University of Wurzburg, Gernmany.

New evidence from functional imaging studies provide additional evidence of brain dysfunction in people with fibromyalgia. She cites studies to indicate sensitization in central parts of the brain, plus evidence of defective pain inhibitory systems. This evidence comes from MRI, fMRI and PET scan studies. 

Dr. Sommer also examined why treatment is often limited in its effectiveness. One possible reason is that there may be sub-types of fibromyalgia. Each sub-type may need a different combination of treatments to be effective. This research is in the early stages, but promises to help doctors and scientists pinpoint the most effective treatments for this complicated and often disabling condition.

A summary of how far we have come in our understanding of chronic pain and fibromyalgia can be found in the Epilogue: We Have Come A Long, Long Way of the book Unbelievable pain Control. Please check it out.

And stay tuned. The next posting will follow-up with more research findings.

Yours with care,
Michael

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