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Identifying Fibromyalgia subgroups

Sunday 13 October 2013


From's Adrienne Dellwo:


QuestionnaireIdentifying Fibromyalgia Subgroups

By Adrienne Dellwo, Guide
October 4, 2013

Research Brief

New research may help with the goal of establishing subgroups of fibromyalgia for the purposes of research and treatment.

By analyzing multiple aspects of the illness in nearly 1,500 people with fibromyalgia, researchers were able to establish three broad categories of patients:

  1. Cluster 1 - Low symptomology and comorbidities;
  2. Cluster 2 - High symptomology and comorbidities;
  3. Cluster 3 - High symptomology and low comorbidities.

Cluster 1 is also set apart by symptoms such as memory and concentration problems (fibro fog), morning stiffness, post-exercise fatigue, sudden onset, dizziness, sleep disturbances, excess sweating, heart palpitations, and a personal history of chronic pain.

Cluster 2 tended to be linked to a family history of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders, and autoimmune disorders. The specific symptoms linked to this cluster include panic attacks, connective-tissue disorder, major depression, osteoarthritis of the spine, blackouts, facial puffiness, and impaired urination.

Cluster 3 is more difficult to discuss because it's defined primarily by scores on multiple scales, such as the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, HAD depression scale, and Fatigue Impact Scale. However, it does include trembling as a symptom.

Researchers are working to establish accurate subgroups of fibromyalgia because it's such a variable condition. They believe that subgrouping will help pinpoint which treatments work for which groups. Also, they may be able to conduct more relevant research by focusing on a more homogenous group of people.

Do your symptoms seem to fall into one of these subgroups, or are they scattered throughout? Leave your comments here!

Learn more or join the conversation!



The above, with comments, originally appeared here.


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