How do we know that the pain in fibromyalgia is "real"?
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Fibromyalgia is a common idiopathic pain condition often resulting in increased morbidity and disability in patients. The lack of peripheral abnormalities in this disease has led clinicians and researchers alike to question if this syndrome represents a valid entity. Recent genetic findings suggest that specific gene mutations may predispose individuals to develop fibromyalgia. In addition, neurobiological studies indicate that fibromyalgia patients have abnormalities within central brain structures that normally encode pain sensations in healthy pain-free controls. Future studies that focus on central neurobiological and/or genetic influences in fibromyalgia may bring insight into mechanisms of this problematic disease and ultimately result in improved treatments.
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