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Articles

Coexistence of Neurological Disorders with FM

Study Clarifies Picture of Fibromyalgia’s Concomitant Neurologic SymptomsTo outsiders, fibromyalgia would be expected to be like many other disorders, a single entity, existing alone, acknowledged as such and therefore carefully labelled and pigeon holed. Anyone with FM would know this is not appropriate or correct.

The first drug approval for FM in the USA was Lyrica (pregabalin), made by Pfizer and previously approved for epilepsy. It is without doubt that pregabalin for the treatment of FM has its pros and cons. In an intriguing and intuitive analysis, presented at the American Pain Society meeting in Baltimore  earlier this year, Dr Danielle Petersel and co-workers from Pfizer have taken the existing results from 4 phase III clinical trials on pregabalin and looked back at any neurological issues also described by the patients that participated in the trials.

Involving over 2500 patients, the results are fascinating – nearly half (44.5%) of the FM patients enrolled also suffered concurrently from a variety of neurological complaints (typified by headache, migraine, dizziness, vertigo, paresthesia, restless leg syndrome, muscle spasm).  Delving deeper into the data, it was found that more than one third (37.1%) of the patients could classify the headaches or migraine into specific areas like cluster headache, tension headache, vascular headache and post-traumatic headache.

Turning this information on its head, one question could easily be: if a patient went to see their doctor with neurological issues, such as headaches or numbness in their hands, would a bigger picture be missed? FM is difficult to identify and diagnose , the knowledge base on co-occurring disorders is still growing*, and it is clear that education about FM amongst GPs needs to be improved.

*The study also found that other very common coexisting disorders with FM included drug hypersensitivity, allergies, gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), insomnia, depression, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and asthma.

Source: Study Clarifies Picture of Fibromyalgia’s Concomitant Neurologic Symptoms

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