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Fibromyalgia Patients More Sensitive?

Fibromyalgia patients may have lower pain thresholds than
people without fibromyalgia, according to a new research review.

Fibromyalgia is a complex pain syndrome with symptoms including muscle pain,
fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tender points at certain points of the body.
Its exact cause isn't known.

The new research review, published in the Annals of Internal
Medicine
, comes from doctors including Aryeh Abeles, MD, of New York
University's medical school.

Abeles and colleagues reviewed 111 fibromyalgia studies published in English
between 1970 and 2006.

The review shows that compared to people without fibromyalgia, fibromyalgia
patients tend to process pain differently and to be particularly sensitive to
pain.

That heightened sensitivity to pain likely stems from pain-processing
problems in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), according to
the review.

Exactly how those problems develop isn't clear. Learning more about pain
processing in fibromyalgia may lead to new fibromyalgia treatments, note Abeles
and colleagues.

By Miranda Hitti
Reviewed by Louise Chang
B)2005-2006 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved

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