Fibromyalgia (2)

Fibromyalgia is a particularly uncomfortable condition where sufferers experience chronic and sometimes excruciating pain in many areas of their bodies and with no physical explanation.

Without an obvious injury, these individuals live in constant pain and discomfort. Fibromyalgia involves widespread sensations of pain on both sides of the body, both above and below the waist and in the back. Further, pain must be experienced in at least 11 of 18 tender point sites on the body.

In addition to this physical pain are other distressing symptoms including general fatigue, headaches, disturbed sleep, numbness or tingling sensations, bowel dysfunction and psychiatric complaints including depression and anxiety.

Roughly two per cent of the population suffers from fibromyalgia and it affects many more women than men.

Not only are psychiatric symptoms commonly associated with fibromyalgia, but they also seem to make the condition worse for those who experience them. Patients with both fibromyalgia and high levels of depression or anxiety also tend to experience more physical symptoms, worse general health, less satisfaction with their health and more life disruption from pain and stress.

The connection doesn’t end there – individuals with fibromyalgia are eight times more likely than the general population to experience bipolar disorder, three times more likely to have major depression and four times more likely to develop an anxiety disorder at some point in life.

Although an exact cause of fibromyalgia is not yet understood, there seem to be both genetic and physiological factors. Possible mechanisms for the pain include biochemical and neurotransmitter abnormalities.

This is a common condition for which there is no adequate treatment at the present time. There is considerable clinical research underway looking at different therapeutic agents that have been shown to produce symptomatic relief in some patients.

One such study is now ongoing at Okanagan Clinical Trials. This study is examining the effectiveness of a medication that is already on the market for other painful conditions and is now being tested for fibromyalgia. This medication has already been tested in many clinical trials for neuropathic pain and anxiety and has shown promise for fibromyalgia in randomized controlled studies. It has the ability to reduce the release of several key neurotransmitters that are associated with pain and anxiety.

If you are an adult over the age of 18 and have experienced fibromyalgia for at least three months, you may be eligible to participate in this new clinical trial. As with all clinical trials there are a number of criteria established as to what clinical characteristics must be present in study participants.

When you call, we will give you the necessary information to decide whether you would like to participate in this important research study and will evaluate whether you have the required characteristics. Contact Okanagan Clinical Trials at 862-8141 for more information or to schedule a free, no obligation medical assessment.

 

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