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Highly Accessed Review

Developments in the scientific and clinical understanding of fibromyalgia

Dan Buskila

Author Affiliations

Division of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine H, Soroka Medical Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University, P.O.B. 151, Beer Sheva 84101, Israel

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:242  doi:10.1186/ar2720

Published: 14 October 2009

Abstract

Our understanding of fibromyalgia (FM) has made significant advances over the past decade. The current concept views FM as the result of central nervous system malfunction resulting in amplification of pain transmission and interpretation. Research done over the past years has demonstrated a role for polymorphisms of genes in the serotoninergic, dopaminergic and catecholaminergic systems in the etiopathogenesis of FM. Various external stimuli such as infection, trauma and stress may contribute to the development of the syndrome. The management of FM requires an integrated approach combining pharmacological and nonpharmacological modalities. The recent Food and Drugs Administration approval of pregabalin, duloxetine and milnacipran as medications for FM may herald a new era for the development of medications with higher specificity and efficacy for the condition. As our understanding of the biological basis and the genetic underpinning of FM increases, we hope to gain a better understanding of the true nature of the disorder, to better classify patients and to attain more rational therapeutic modalities.