Researchers at the Ohio State University in the United States have managed to detect, for the first time, the ” molecular signature ” of fibromyalgia , and, thanks to this discovery, develop a blood test – still under investigation – capable of accurately detecting the illness.
The work, which is published in the “Journal of Biological Chemistry”, hopes it will pave the way for a “simple and fast” diagnosis. Identifying the biomarkers of fibromyalgia has allowed us to differentiate it from other related diseases.
The discovery could be an important turning point in the care of patients with a disease that is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed , “leaving them without proper care and advice to control their chronic pain and fatigue, ” he said. Lead researcher Kevin Hackshaw, associate professor at the Ohio State College of Medicine and a rheumatologist at the Wexner University medical center.
The identification of biomarkers of the disease, a “metabolic fingerprint” like the one discovered in the new study, could also open the possibility of targeted treatments, reports Ep. «We found clear and reproducible metabolic patterns in the blood of dozens of fibromyalgia patients. This brings us closer to a blood test than ever, ”he said.
To diagnose fibromyalgia, doctors now rely on the information provided by the patient about a multitude of symptoms and a physical evaluation of pain, focusing on specific sensitive points. But there is no blood test , there is no clear and easy-to-use tool that provides a quick response.
Although fibromyalgia is currently incurable and treatment is limited to exercise, education and antidepressants, an accurate diagnosis has many benefits. These include ruling out other diseases, confirming to patients that their symptoms are real and not imagined, and guiding doctors towards the recognition of the disease and proper treatment.
“Most doctors today do not question whether fibromyalgia is real, but there are still skeptics, ” said the researcher, who recalls that many undiagnosed patients are prescribed opioids that have not been shown to benefit people with disease.
In addition to identifying fibromyalgia, the researchers also found evidence that the metabolic fingerprint technique has the potential to determine the severity of fibromyalgia in an individual patient. “This could lead to a better and more targeted treatment for patients,” concludes Hackshaw.