Scientists Working to Develop Blood Test to Diagnose Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a common type of chronic pain syndrome which has been greatly misunderstood and underdiagnosed. The cause of the syndrome is still not yet known and scientists have worked for decades to develop reliable testing methods to diagnose fibromyalgia.
An estimated three to six million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, according to the American College of Rheumatology, the majority of whom are women. The symptoms of fibromyalgia are difficult to quantify and often mimic symptoms of other diseases and conditions, making diagnosis difficult. There are currently no definitive tests to diagnose fibromyalgia, although doctors may use tests like blood analysis, tissue scans, and sleep studies to rule out other conditions.
In an effort to develop a reliable diagnostic test for fibromyalgia, researchers at King’s College in London are studying 400 pairs of twins where one twin has chronic, widespread pain, and the other does not. The blood analysis of these twins will hopefully help researchers identify DNA biomarkers associated with fibromyalgia.
The research team hopes that their work will not only lead to a diagnostic tool for fibromyalgia, but also a better understanding of how the syndrome develops, which could help in developing better treatments or a cure. Once the study is completed, the researchers hope to identify DNA markers that could predict the development of fibromyalgia later in life.
Fibromyalgia can make performing regular job functions impossible. In severe cases, simple life tasks such as bathing and dressing, can be extremely exhausting or painful. People with severe, documented cases of fibromyalgia who cannot continue to work and do not respond well to treatment may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
If you or a loved one suffers from fibromyalgia and can no longer work and earn an income, contact the Disability Help Group today for help with obtaining SSDI benefits: 1-(800)-800-3332.