New Diagnostic for FibromyalgiaAs I was perusing facebook looking at information on one of the fibromyalgia pages I came across a post about an article that was about a new diagnostic for fibro. I went to the article which was on a blog and read what was said. It left me with more questions, so I googled it and found the abstract and I used that to get to the actual article. I read the paper and went to the website of the company that is marketing the new diagnostic…so what is it? Drs. have come up with a blood test that will be able to tell if you have fibromyalgia. How is this possible with so many different and complicated symptoms and each individual being different?
The cause of fibromyalgia is still not completely understood. The way it has been diagnosed is by using the tender points and if you met the criteria set (11 out of 18 tender points and the patient’s symptoms) then you were diagnosed with a positive for fibromyalgia. It was seen as a rheumatologic disorder; in other words a fibro-connective disorder. Today, however, doctors are theorizing that fibromyalgia comes from the interactions that occur between the autonomic central nervous system, the immune system, and the hypothalamic -pituitary- adrenal axis (a region in your brain that is in control of your central nervous system.) Researchers found abnormalities in the protein molecules called cytokines in the white blood cells a key part of the immune system. People who have significant lower levels of the cytokines have fibromyalgia. The new diagnostic, a blood test called FM/a, that uses a 1-100 point system to determine a diagnosis. In order to have a positive fibromyalgia diagnosis a patient must score between 50-100. At this point we must remind ourselves that no test is 100 percent accurate. The blood test called FM/a is only available through your doctor or a licensed physician. The test is also a bit expensive ($744.99-US) and there is the chance that health insurance companies may not cover the cost. The doctor will take your blood sample and send it to a privately owned biomedical company called EpicGenetics, Inc. This company is the one who conducted the clinical trials and are the manufacturers of the FM/a test. They will send the results back to your doctor usually within 7 days, who then will discuss the findings with the patient. The test kit is available for purchase beginning March 4, 2013. If a person does not have a licensed physician the company, EpicGenetics Inc., has a licensed physician on staff. You will have to fill out a questionnaire and if the doctor feels it warrants taking the test then he will set it up and discuss the findings after the test results come in.
The trial research and findings were published December 2012 issue of BMC Clinical Pathology. Since the publication of the findings the FM Test has received support from leading experts in the fields of immunology and rheumatology.
After reading everything, I am excited to know that the researchers have found a common link that will make it easier to diagnosis fibromyalgia which will give us credibility that it is a real disease. I will be excitedly waiting to see how the scientific community reacts and whether it will be difficult to get health insurance companies to cover the cost. It is important for us, fibromyalgia survivors to stay informed about fibromyalgia. Thanks to new research, it will only be a matter of time before the triggers and causes of fibromyalgia are uncovered and new therapies will be developed.
What are your thoughts about the new blood test created to diagnose fibromyalgia?
Some facts found on EpicGenetics web page.
5 years, experts say, is how long, until now, it has taken to be finally,correctly and objectively diagnosed with FM.
· 6.4 percent of the general population suffers with fibromyalgia, according
to a recent Mayo Clinic study
· 26,218 dollars are spent annually (incl. direct and indirect costs) on
a patient suffering with "moderate" level FM