Research Overview

There are several categories of medical research: Basic Science, Epidemiological Population-based Research, and Clinical Research. The label “Basic Science” refers to research that seeks to understand the biological under-pinning’s of disorders. “Epidemiological Research” helps us to understand the incidence and prevalence of a disorder in the population at large or how disorders interact with communities. Finally, “Clinical Research” refers to the study of patients in a clinical setting (i.e., in the hospital or a health clinic) and may include clinical trials of treatments to improve the condition.

The scientific approach to understanding FM has involved all three approaches to medical research. In each case, a researcher has raised a question, formed a hypothesis, and tested that hypothesis either in the laboratory, in a sample of people with FM, or in the population at large. Once a study is completed, researchers typically write a paper about the study which is sent to a scientific medical journal where it is read and reviewed by other scientists. This review is called “peer-review.” Credible science will always need to experience “peer-review” before being published. If the paper is judged worthy of publication, it then appears in the journal, thereby making the information available to clinicians who may then apply new ideas to their clinical decision-making. In this way, our understanding of fibromyalgia and the effective means of treatment improves.

General Background

Wolfe F, Clauw DJ, Fitzcharles MA, et al. The American College of Rheumatology preliminary diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia and measurement of symptom severity. Arthritis care & research 2010;62:600-10.

Wolfe F, Clauw DJ, Fitzcharles MA, et al. Fibromyalgia criteria and severity scales for clinical and epidemiological studies: a modification of the ACR Preliminary Diagnostic Criteria for Fibromyalgia. The Journal of rheumatology 2011;38:1113-22.

Fitzcharles MA, Ste-Marie PA, Goldenberg DL, et al. 2012 Canadian Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of fibromyalgia syndrome: executive summary. Pain research & management : the journal of the Canadian Pain Society = journal de la societe canadienne pour le traitement de la douleur 2013;18:119-26.

Whipple MO, McAllister SJ, Oh TH, Luedtke CA, Toussaint LL, Vincent A. Construction of a US Fibromyalgia Registry using the Fibromyalgia Research Survey criteria. Clinical and translational science 2013;6:398-9.

Basic Research

Hassett AL, Epel E, Clauw DJ, et al. Pain is associated with short leukocyte telomere length in women with fibromyalgia. J Pain 2012;13:959-69.

Loggia ML, Berna C, Kim J, et al. Disrupted brain circuitry for pain-related reward/punishment in fibromyalgia. Arthritis & rheumatology 2014;66:203-12.

Valim V, Natour J, Xiao Y, et al. Effects of physical exercise on serum levels of serotonin and its metabolite in fibromyalgia: a randomized pilot study. Revista brasileira de reumatologia 2013;53:538-41.

Docampo E, Escaramis G, Gratacos M, et al. Genome-wide analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms and copy number variants in fibromyalgia suggest a role for the central nervous system. Pain 2014.

Diatchenko L, Fillingim RB, Smith SB, Maixner W. The phenotypic and genetic signatures of common musculoskeletal pain conditions. Nature reviews Rheumatology 2013;9:340-50.

Arnold LM, Fan J, Russell IJ, et al. The fibromyalgia family study: a genome-wide linkage scan study. Arthritis and rheumatism 2013;65:1122-8.

Xiao Y, Haynes WL, Michalek JE, Russell IJ. Elevated serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels in fibromyalgia syndrome patients correlate with body mass index, interleukin-6, interleukin-8, erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Rheumatology international 2013;33:1259-64.

Brown CA, El-Deredy W, Jones AK. When the brain expects pain: common neural responses to pain anticipation are related to clinical pain and distress in fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. The European journal of neuroscience 2014;39:663-72.

Epidemiological Research

McBeth J, Lacey RJ, Wilkie R. Predictors of new-onset widespread pain in older adults: results from a population-based prospective cohort study in the UK. Arthritis & rheumatology 2014;66:757-67.

Vincent A, Lahr BD, Wolfe F, et al. Prevalence of fibromyalgia: a population-based study in Olmsted County, Minnesota, utilizing the Rochester Epidemiology Project. Arthritis care & research 2013;65:786-92.

Queiroz LP. Worldwide epidemiology of fibromyalgia. Current pain and headache reports 2013;17:356.

Clinical Research

Hassett AL, Williams DA. Non-pharmacological treatment of chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain. Best practice & research Clinical rheumatology 2011;25:299-309.

Sil S, Kashikar-Zuck S. Understanding why cognitive-behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for adolescents with juvenile fibromyalgia. International journal of clinical rheumatology 2013;8.

Wepner F, Scheuer R, Schuetz-Wieser B, et al. Effects of vitamin D on patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Pain 2014;155:261-8.

Vincent A, Clauw D, Oh TH, Whipple MO, Toussaint LL. Decreased Physical Activity Attributable to Higher Body Mass Index Influences Fibromyalgia Symptoms. PM & R : the journal of injury, function, and rehabilitation 2014.

Garza-Villarreal EA, Wilson AD, Vase L, et al. Music reduces pain and increases functional mobility in fibromyalgia. Frontiers in psychology 2014;5:90.

Li YH, Wang FY, Feng CQ, Yang XF, Sun YH. Massage therapy for fibromyalgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PloS one 2014;9:e89304.

McAllister SJ, Vincent A, Hassett AL, et al. Psychological Resilience, Affective Mechanisms and Symptom Burden in a Tertiary-care Sample of Patients with Fibromyalgia. Stress and health : journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress 2013.