Juvenile Fibromyalgia’s Similarities, and Differences, to Adult Disease Examined

Juvenile Fibromyalgia’s Similarities, and Differences, to Adult Disease Examined
Although fibromyalgia is most often associated with adults, it can affect children and teenagers as well, presenting many of the same symptoms but some differing comorbities and, for those with juvenile fibromyalgia, few treatment options. The study, “Juvenile Fibromyalgia: Different from the Adult Chronic Pain Syndrome?”, was published in the journal Current Rheumatology Reports. Fibromyalgia (FM) in adults has been the subject of extensive research, but questions of how fibromyalgia affects and impacts children and adolescents, especially girls, are only beginning to be addressed. The authors summarized and highlighted areas of similarities and differences between juvenile fibromyalgia and adult fibromyalgia, suggesting potential reasons for these differences. Although the onset of adult fibromyalgia is fundamentally different from juvenile onset, characteristic symptoms of widespread pain, sleep difficulties, fatigue, and function impairment are similar in both groups. Notably, recent reports suggest that psychological comorbidities are less severe in juvenile FM patients when compared to adults. As a consequence, younger patients may have more positive overall prognosis. Adolescents with fibromyalgia often have joint laxity or hypermobility, a comorbidity rarely mentioned in adults. A recent study found that about 40 percent of juvenile FM patients had elevated Beighton scores, a measure based on the number of hypermobile joints. Because juvenile fibromyalgia progresses to adulthood and impacts quality of life, early recognition and treatment is of immense importance. T
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