Fibromyalgia Syndrome Not Seen as Variant of Depression in Study

Fibromyalgia Syndrome Not Seen as Variant of Depression in Study
A recent paper published in BMC Neurology journal entitled "Increased cortical activation upon painful stimulation in fibromyalgia syndrome" provides evidence that fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a distinct pathophysiology from the spectrum of major depression. Though exact causes of FMS are unknown, a combination of genetic and factors like stress, food sensitivity, and sleep disturbance have been pointed out to contribute for FMS development. Patients with FMS often complain of chronic widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, cognitive impairment, and changes in mood. It is believed that FMS often co-occurs with major depression; however, there is ongoing debate on whether FMS is a district pathophysiology or a variant of depression. From a mechanistic point of view, some hypotheses suggest that patients with FMS have elevated reactivity of pain-sensitive brain nerve cells when compared to healthy controls. Medical methods like radiological and nuclear medicine have been used to clarify possible morphological or functional alteration in the brains of FMS patients. Each method has its advantages and drawbacks in terms of complexity and invasiveness. In the present study, researchers explored an imaging technique called functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) as a means to investigate brain activation in people with FMS. When compared to radiological and nuclear medicine methods, fNIRS is an easy and practical tool without side effects. A total of 25 FMS patients, joined by 10 with unipolar major depression without pain and 35 healthy
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