From: Melissa Erickson
Suffering from fibromyalgia means dealing with pain, sleep disorders, depression and thinking and memory problems.
Equally difficult is the skepticism of friends, family and doctors who doubt the validity of the disease itself.
Little understood and often misdiagnosed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fibromyalgia affects about two percent of the population.
This number is being questioned by others who claim to affect more than 10 million Americans, or about 6 percent of the population, said Dr. Bruce Gillis, founder of Epicgenetics, a biomedical company that has developed the FM / Blood Test. He says he has diagnosed fibromyalgia.
What is it?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by generalized joint and muscle pain and sensitivity throughout the body or in certain regions, along with other symptoms that include frequent headaches, lack of sleep, restless legs or cramps, numbness or tingling.
For the sick, about 60 percent of women and 40 percent of men are affected, Gillis said.
Fibromyalgia has been misunderstood for hundreds of years, Gillis said. The victims, mostly women, were considered neurotic. A century ago, women could become institutionalized. In the 1970s, doctors prescribed Valium widely used to treat it, Gillis said.
It is more a syndrome or a set of symptoms than a disease, explained Gillis, who previously treated patients with fibromyalgia in private practice.
To complete fibromyalgia tests, many patients spent three to five years with doctors to perform “filing tests,” Gillis said. For example, they were examined for lupus and discarded or mistakenly diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
With the support of major medical universities, including the University of California at Los Angeles; The FM / A test was developed at the University of Illinois at the Chicago School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School. Diagnosing fibromyalgia by detecting the presence of specific abnormalities in white blood cells documented in these patients. The test is compatible with the FDA and was introduced in 2013.
The test requires less than an ounce of blood. She analyzes the patterns of movement of chemokines and cytokines in the white blood cells of the immune system, Gillis said.
Patients with fibromyalgia have an irregular pattern with respect to these proteins. Healthcare providers may require proof that is covered by Medicare and often insurance.
“I think we are at the forefront of advancing scientific information on fibromyalgia and answering these critical questions for patients: 1) Do I have fibromyalgia? 2) How and why did I develop fibromyalgia? And 3) Is there a treatment? directly for fibromyalgia? Gillis said.
In order to not only investigate the cause of fibromyalgia, but also to develop effective treatment, Campaign 250 is looking for 250,000 volunteers to take the FM / a test for free.
Patients receiving a positive diagnosis may be enrolled in a specific clinical trial for the fibromyalgia vaccine, which seeks to alleviate symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
The study is by Dr. med. Denise Faustman, Director of Immunobiology Labs at the Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School, who investigates common markets and DNA traits in her research on an FM vaccine.
“People with fibromyalgia do not have to listen to others when they say ‘everything is in your head’ or ‘it looks perfect’. The immune system is not working, “said Gillis.