Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Speed of Mental Operations in Fibromyalgia: A Selective Naming Speed Deficit - Source: Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, Jul 17, 2008

Speed of Mental Operations in Fibromyalgia: A Selective Naming Speed Deficit - Source: Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, Jul 17, 2008: "Objective: Abnormal processing of information in fibromyalgia may hold clues to brain abnormalities in this illness.

The purpose of this study is to examine the speed of mental operations in people with the fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) under the pressure of time.
The central question addresses whether FMS is associated with processing speed deficits across a spectrum of speeded tasks."

The researchers found that "more than 49% of FMS patients tested as impaired (>1.67 SD below normative mean) on 2 specific validated speed tasks (reading words and naming colors)"

I know my word recognition function is getting worse all the time and finding words has been a problem for some time. . .

The article concludes "Abnormalities in naming speed are an unappreciated feature of FMS.

Selective deficits in naming speed in association with otherwise well preserved global processing speed set patients with FMS apart from controls with memory complaints.

Clinicians would be wise to specifically request adding a rapid naming test such as the Stroop Test to the cognitive battery; to document cognitive dysfunction in FMS patients who otherwise appear to test normally, despite often intense complaints of memory and concentration difficulties that can affect job performance and increase disability."

Try the stroop test here: I will later today...

Tiscali - Stroop: "The Stroop Test was devised by John Ridley Stroop to challenge the way we react when given two conflicting signals.
This area is located in the area of the brain called the anterior cingulate (thought processes and emotional responses).

The test also challenges the cognitive mechanism (called inhibition) which means we have to stop one response and say or do something else.

For example if the word red is written in yellow we will be more likely to say the word red than the colour in which the word appears (yellow).

The test asks you to say out loud the colour you see and not the word you read. It sounds easy but it's much harder than you think"

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cymbalta Receives Approval for Fibromyalgia - Health - redOrbit

Lilly's Cymbalta Receives Approval for Fibromyalgia - Health - redOrbit: "Cymbalta Receives Approval for Fibromyalgia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's clearance allows Lilly to sell Cymbalta for symptoms of fibromyalgia, a little-understood ailment that causes debilitating pain and fatigue.

Cymbalta, which Lilly expects to be its top-selling drug in the United States this year, is also used to treat depression, anxiety and diabetic pain.

The medicine generated $2.1 billion in sales last year, and will compete with Pfizer Inc.'s pain medicine Lyrica, which was approved for fibromyalgia in June 2007.

Lyrica, also sold for nerve pain from shingles and diabetes, had sales of $1.8 billion in 2007. It is the only other medicine approved for fibromyalgia.

Although Cymbalta's exact mechanism of action is unknown, Wohlreich thinks the drug affects fibromyalgia by helping the brain "quiet down" pain messages coming from a patient's body. With fibromyalgia, the brain's ability to block out pain messages appears not to work correctly"

I wonder if either of these treatments are available in the UK and wether they would do any more for me than the cocktail I now take?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Relationship Between Fibromyalgia and Major Depressive Disorder: a Comprehensive Review

DFW_CFIDS - The Relationship Between Fibromyalgia and Major Depressive Disorder: a Comprehensive Review: "The Relationship Between Fibromyalgia and Major Depressive Disorder"

A large body of evidence suggests that the relationship between major depressive disorder (MDD) and fibromyalgia (FM) is complex. Improved understanding of this relationship promises to provide clinicians with better assessment and treatment options for both disorders. . .

This paper reviews research on the prevalence, etiology and pathogenesis, clinical characterization, and treatment of FM and MDD, as well as studies that examined the relationship between these disorders. Studies were identified via PubMed literature search.

Our findings point to substantial similarities in neuroendocrine abnormalities, psychological characteristics, physical symptoms and treatments between FM and MDD. However, currently available findings do not support the assumption that MDD and FM refer to the same underlying construct or can be seen as subsidiaries of one disease concept.

New methodological and theoretical approaches may lead to a better understanding of the link between FM and MDD, and to more effective psychological and psychopharmacological therapies for FM patients. In the meantime, clinicians should carefully screen for a history of MDD in patients with FM.

Source: The relationship between fibromyalgia and major depressive disorder: a comprehensive review. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 Jul 4;

Authors: Pae CU, Luyten P, Marks DM, Han C, Park SH, Patkar AA, Masand PS, Van Houdenhove"

So a complex relationship indeed, I certainly agree with that having spent months in a psychiatric hospital, almost a zombie until ECT seemed to bring me back to life just a little bit.

I have never fully recovered and struggle to fight off further reactive depression caused by pain and isolation. A When every day is a struggle it makes my life very little....and very hard to look forward to anything

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

How to Explain Fibromyalgia to Your Friends & Family

What I now reckon was my first huge fibro flare up hit me while a post graduate student at Durham University on a university scholarship because of glowing undergraduate performance, diagnosed as depression - I actually went to my GP and said I thought I was depressed following a strange condition where the bottom of my legs and ankles where swollen red and itchy, doc diagnosed a virus and it was downhill all the way from there such that just trying to walk to the library was like wading through treacle, my concentration, analytical ability and previously red hot memory became just that, a memory. Eighteen years on I am unable to work and have to always pace myself to try to avoid flare ups, but the strangest events or conditions can bring one on.....have to log off now as my neck is spasming and telling me "enough!"

MedHeadlines » Explaining Fibromyalgia to Your Friends & Family: Explaining Fibromyalgia to Your Friends & Family "When a lot of people see a bizarre collection of fluctuating symptoms that don't show up in medical tests, they decide fibromyalgia must be a psychological problem. A host of scientific evidence, however, proves that it's a very real physical condition."

Oh boy do I know what this is like! I may look well at times but an in pain and unable to think or speak clearly...

"Research shows conclusively that fibromyalgia involves abnormal levels of multiple hormones and other substances. Because those things all go up and down, sometimes one or more are in the normal zone and other times they're not. The more things that are out of the zone, the worse they'll feel...

Understanding the Fatigue of Fibromyalgia
Think of a time when you were not just tired, but really exhausted. Maybe you were up all night studying for a test. Maybe you were up multiple times to feed a baby or take care of a sick child. Maybe it was the flu or strep throat.

Imagine being exhausted like that all day while you're trying to work, take care of kids, clean the house, cook dinner, etc. For most people, one or two good night's sleep would take that feeling away.

With fibromyalgia, though, comes sleep disorders that make a good night's sleep a rarity"

The sleep deprivation is the cream on the top of this awful illness

Fibromyalgia In a Nutshell

"Fibromyalgia can take someone who is educated, ambitious, hardworking and tireless, and rob them of their ability to work, clean house, exercise, think clearly and ever feel awake or healthy.

It's NOT psychological "burn out" or depression.
It's NOT laziness.
It's NOT whining or malingering.
It IS the result of widespread dysfunction in the body and the brain that's hard to understand, difficult to treat, and, so far, impossible to cure.
The hardest thing for patients, however, is having to live with it. Having the support and understanding of people in their lives can make it a lot easier."

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Seven Helpful Tips For Dealing With The Pain Of Fibromyalgia

Seven Helpful Tips For Dealing With The Pain Of Fibromyalgia: "fibromyalgia sufferers endure multiple symptoms including global aching pain, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep disturbances, heightened sensitivity to any sensation and depression.

The intensity of the symptoms can vary based on a variety of factors, including stress, weather, physical activity and time of the day. Even with all these symptoms, it can take up to five years for a fibromyalgia patient to get an accurate diagnosis"

In brief the recommendations for coping with fibromyalgia are:

If you think you may have fibromyalgia and are going through a battery of tests to rule out other diseases or if you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you can take seven positive steps to manage your pain.

-- Work with your physician to try different medications

-- Understand your symptoms. Analyze when they occur, the intensity, duration, extenuating circumstances and other factors as well as when the symptoms seem to diminish.

- Develop an exercise regimen, physical therapy program or both. This is counterintuitive. When something hurts, the tendency is to avoid movement. But better muscle conditioning can help manage pain. With fibromyalgia, everything may hurt but there is no actual tissue damage (the cause is largely believed to be linked to the central nervous system).

-- Adjust your diet if your analysis indicates any pattern based on food and beverage consumption.

-- Try acupuncture and holistic approaches.

-- Join a support group

-- Establish a routine and stick to it, adjusting as you learn more about your body and analyze the results of your pain management program.

Since no cure exists, management is key. Know that pain is a part of your life and focus on something other than your physical complaints. Celebrate the success you have in reducing discomfort and you can enjoy a better qualify of life

For me diet changes brought about the biggest improvement in my fibromyalgia symptoms overall...