[Fibromyalgia syndrome: A disease of the small nerve fibers?]

N Üçeyler, C Sommer
Zeitschrift Für Rheumatologie 2015, 74 (6): 490-2, 494-5
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is characterized by chronic widespread pain and additional associated symptoms, such as fatigue, sleep disturbances and depressive moods. The pathophysiology of pain in FMS is unclear. In recent years, an involvement of the thinly myelinated A-delta and the unmyelinated C-nerve fibers has been reported in FMS patients. Independent research groups published consistent objective and multidimensional findings of damage to these small nerve fibers, such as disturbances of fiber function, electrical properties and morphological changes. All these alterations are not specific for FMS; however, they were described for the first time in subgroups of FMS patients. While the reasons for this small fiber pathology and its contribution to FMS pain are still unclear, a new research field has now been opened that will focus on uncovering the underlying pathophysiology. This review article summarizes these new findings and discusses the significance for the understanding of FMS.

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