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Evidence of nerve damage in approximately half of patients with fibromyalgia

Summary: It was found that about half of a small group of patients with fibromyalgia, a common syndrome that causes chronic pain and other symptoms, have nerve fiber damage to the skin and other evidence of a disease called small fiber polyneuropathy ( SFPN). Unlike fibromyalgia, SFPN has a clear pathology and is known to be caused by specific medical conditions, some of which can be treated and sometimes cured.

It was found that about half of a small group of patients with fibromyalgia, a common syndrome that causes chronic pain and other symptoms, have nerve fiber damage to the skin and other evidence of a disease called small fiber polyneuropathy (SFPN). . Unlike fibromyalgia, which has had no known causes and few effective treatments, SFPN has a clear pathology and is known to be caused by specific medical conditions, some of which can be treated and sometimes cured. The study by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers will appear in the journal   PAIN   and will be published online.

“This provides some of the first objective evidence of a mechanism behind some cases of fibromyalgia, and the identification of an underlying cause is the first step towards the search for better treatments,” says Anne Louise Oaklander, MD, PhD, director of the Unit of Nervous Lesions at the MGH Department of Neurology and corresponding author of the Pain article.

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