Monday, June 30, 2008

2 Studies on FM Provide Hope

First, one that might lead to a test, with a caveat - the author of the study, Dr. St. Amand, has popularized a treatment using guaifenesin, which not incoincidentally this study is found to affect those proteins that are found to be different. He writes of the study results, It certainly reflects that guaifenesin has distinct effects on cytokines that have been previously unknown.

But it's still hopeful, just needs to be studied by others.

The function of our genes is to dictate the formation of proteins throughout the body. You know these proteins as enzymes, hormones, antibodies, components of cell structures and so on. Our study examined twenty-five circulating proteins known as cytokines or chemokines. We found that several were abnormally elevated in the blood of FM patients as well as in some of their family members (with and without fibromyalgia) when compared with normal controls.

Two proteins were most prominently elevated. They are known as

  • Eotaxin
  • And MCP-1 (monocyte chemotactic protein-1).
  • When tested in tandem, the elevations correctly identified fibromyalgia in up to 50% of the patients.

    But when two other less-prominently abnormal cytokines (four total) were factored into the testing, the diagnostic probability rose to somewhere between 70% - 80%.

    Conclusion, unsuprisingly,
    Obviously, we are closer to a solution for the complicated aberrant biochemistry and physiology that so thoroughly disrupts the life of fibromyalgics and their families. As Churchill would say, "This is not the end, but it is the beginning of the beginning." It gives credence to our protocol even though its benefits to patients were not part of this project.
    Still, hopeful news. For full report, click here.

    Then there's this second study, done the European Network of Fibromyalgia Association, but includes Mexico and S. Korea (without explanation). Also Pfizer, manufacturer of the first drug (Lyrica) to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of FM is a sponsor of the study. Perhaps is the upside of FDA approval. Here's the full report on this second study.

    Intro:
    A new global survey of Fibromyalgia patients and physicians shows that Fibromyalgia, a chronic widespread pain condition, results in poor quality of life and poses a financial burden on patients, often resulting in an inability to work and earn income.
    A few specifics:

  • In all countries surveyed, patients with Fibromyalgia say they experience 6 to 11 symptoms on average, including chronic widespread pain, sleep disturbance, fatigue and sensitivity to touch.
  • Many of the symptoms are described by patients as extremely or very disruptive to the overall quality of their lives.
  • Patients say the areas of their lives that are most affected are physical mobility, overall mood, concentration and memory, and motivation and drive.
  • And on the financial burden:

    Fibromyalgia places a financial burden on patients and can result in missed work days and limited ability or inability to work.
    Validating that it typically takes years and several doctors for a diagnosis (I've been accused by a disrepectful friend that I doctor shopped)

    The burden of Fibromyalgia may be further compounded by the fact that in most countries it takes patients on average 1.9 to 2.7 years, and between 2 and 4 physicians to receive an accurate diagnosis.
    Finally:

    The exact causes of Fibromyalgia are not yet known. Some scientists believe that there is an abnormality in how the body responds to pain, particularly a heightened sensitivity to stimuli. A growing body of evidence suggests that alterations in the central nervous system may contribute to the pain of Fibromyalgia.

    Mostly the study struck me as validating, nothing new, mostly my reaction was no shxt, Sherlock. But at least now there's a Sherlock looking....

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