Thursday, July 25, 2013

Theda Update

Change for ME Australia writes:
Hello Changers
It is with a heavy heart we share the news that many of you might now have
heard. The gorgeous, brave and courageous Theda Myint a member of our
community, a fellow changer and warrior woman of unmatched generosity of spirit
left us the night before last.
Our thoughts are with her mother Carol and partner Blake and all of her
loved ones and on-line friends who formed such close bonds with her forged
through shared experience.
These moments for our community are terribly hard hitting. But Theda would
hate the idea of anyone getting sicker because of their grief.
... So if you'd like to light a candle for Theda, share a memory or even
if you didn't know her but very naturally feel kinship, please light a
candle and share some thoughts. Her family can view the page when they are ready
and it might bring them some comfort to see the love shining bright for
Then, most importantly hold each other tight. ME and Lyme may be invisible
diseases, but the suffering is not. Neither are our friendships and
connections. Hold tight to those.
Hope for Change
Change for ME Australia team

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blood Test for Fibromyalgia

Source: Medical News
Date: July 24, 2013

Researchers develop reliable way to use finger-stick blood sample
to detect fibromyalgia syndrome

Researchers have developed a reliable way to use a finger-stick blood
sample to detect fibromyalgia syndrome, a complicated pain disorder
that often is difficult to diagnose. If it were someday made available
to primary care physicians, the test could knock up to five years off
of the wait for a diagnosis, researchers predict.

In a pilot study, the scientists used a high-powered and specialized
microscope to detect the presence of small molecules in blood-spot
samples from patients known to have fibromyalgia. By 'training' the
equipment to recognize that molecular pattern, the researchers then
showed that the microscope could tell the difference between
fibromyalgia and two types of arthritis that share some of the same

Though more analysis is needed to identify exactly which molecules are
related to development of the disorder itself, the researchers say
their pilot data are promising. 'We've got really good evidence of a
test that could be an important aid in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia
patients,' said Tony Buffington, professor of veterinary clinical
sciences at The Ohio State University and senior author of the study.
'We would like this to lead to an objective test for primary care
doctors to use, which could produce a diagnosis as much as five years
before it usually occurs.'

Patients with fibromyalgia are often desperate by the time they
receive treatment because of the lengthy process required to make a
diagnosis. The main symptoms, persistent pain and fatigue, mimic many
other conditions, so physicians tend to rule out other potential
causes before diagnosing fibromyalgia. Additional symptoms include
disrupted sleep and memory or thought problems. An estimated 5 million
American adults have the disorder, according to the National Institute
of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

'The importance of producing a faster diagnosis cannot be overstated,
because patients experience tremendous stress during the diagnostic
process. Just getting the diagnosis actually makes patients feel
better and lowers costs because of reductions in anxiety,' said Kevin
Hackshaw, associate professor of medicine, division of rheumatology
and immunology, at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center and lead author
of the study.

The study is published in the Aug. 21, 2013, issue of the journal Analyst.

The technology used in this work is infrared microspectroscopy, which
identifies the biochemical content of a blood sample based on where
peaks of molecules appear in the infrared spectrum. The technology
offers hints at the molecules present in the samples based on how
molecular bonds vibrate when they are struck by light.

The spectroscopy works on dried blood, so just a few drops from a
finger stick produce enough blood to run this test. Researchers first
obtained blood samples from patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia (14),
rheumatoid arthritis (15) and osteoarthritis (12). These other
conditions were chosen for comparison because they produce similar
symptoms as fibromyalgia, but are easier to diagnose. The scientists
analyzed each sample with the infrared microspectroscopy to identify
the molecular patterns associated with each disease. This functioned
as a 'training' phase of the study. When the researchers then entered
blinded blood samples into the same machinery, each condition was
accurately identified based on its molecular patterns. 'It separated
them completely, with no misclassifications,' Buffington said. 'That's
very important. It never mistook a patient with fibromyalgia for a
patient with arthritis. Clearly we need more numbers, but this showed
the technique is quite effective.' The researchers also analyzed some
of the potential chemicals that could someday function as biomarkers
in the fibromyalgia blood samples, but further studies are needed to
identify the molecules responsible for the spectral patterns, he said.

Though an infrared microscope can be expensive, Buffington said the
testing could be affordable if a central lab existed to run the
samples. That the method can use dried blood samples makes this
concept feasible because dried blood can be legally sent via U.S.
mail, he noted.

Why is a veterinarian pursuing this type of research? Buffington is a
renowned expert on domestic cats, including a painful bladder disorder
they suffer called interstitial cystitis (IC). This syndrome also
occurs in humans.

It turns out that the origins of IC, like such human disorders as
irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia, cannot be traced to the
specific area of the anatomy most affected by the syndrome. These
disorders are categorized as medically unexplained or functional
syndromes, and Buffington has explored the possibility that a common
link exists among these types of diseases, and that they might have
origins in the central nervous system.

Source: Ohio State University

(c) 2013 Medical News

Depression Clinical Trial

A new Depression Trial is investigating an Antidepressant that aims to improve mental activities (such as thinking, understanding and remembering) as well as the symptoms of depression. It is hoped that this can help patients for whom the standard treatment doesn't work. Click here to take a quick online assessment to see if you could qualify

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fibromyalgia -- Today on Dr. Oz

6 million people (mostly women) have fibromyalgia
Oz says "it angers me" that women aren't taken seriously, aren't getting diagnosed, and reminds us "you must strong-arm your doctor" to make sure you're listened to.
He asked the visiting expert "Why did it take so long for medicine to accept it's real?" but she didn't really answer.  It wasn't till 1990 that they established diagnostic criteria, and "still most doctors don't think fibromyalgia is real". 
"Calling it hypochondria is inappropriate."
"It's about the pain dial in our brain" -- in fibro, "it gets turned way up and stays stuck on full blast".  Doctors often misdiagnose as MS, migraines, Lyme, etc.
Sean Mackey, MD, PhD "a disease of the brain, specifically the nerves and neurons that are processing pain in the brain".  "While it is in your brain, it's not all in your head."  There are genetic factors and an episode (injury or infection) that triggers it.
No specific food that triggers it, but those who eat an anti-inflammatory diet seem to do better.  Mackey's group is focusing on neurology to find a therapy that works.
Oz recommends a rheumatologist, they often see lots of fibro patients, and neurologist because of the neuro involvement.
They demonstrated Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, performed by an osteopath (look for DO rather than MD).  Note that not all osteopaths do this; I ended up with a chiropractor.
There is a quiz at to determine if you have fibro