A new blood test for fibromyalgia is more accurate than previously thought and not confuse the chronic pain disorder with other diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, according to the doctor who developed the test.
“We saw no overlap between the biomarkers in fibromyalgia and immune system patterns of patients with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Really seemed critical of sails that are out there need, “said Bruce Gillis, MD, founder and CEO of EpicGenetics a biopharmaceutical company based in Santa Monica, CA.
EpicGenetics FM introduced the test in March, calling the first definitive blood test for fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by a poorly understood pain deep tissue, fatigue, headaches, depression and lack of sleep. Results are usually available in about a week.
FM test protein molecules in Cytokines and Chemokines say blood, which are produced by white blood cells. Fibromyalgia patients suffering fewer cytokines and chemokines in the blood, according to Gillis, and accordingly have a weakened immune system normal patients.
Critics have said the same biological markers of the immune system can be found in people with other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, blood test so reliable.
However, in a new study of over 300 patients with fibromyalgia or lupus or rheumatoid arthritis participated Gillis said it was found that only patients with fibromyalgia have normal levels below chemokines and cytokines.
“They do not have the same biological markers of the immune system. Not at all, “said Gillis National Pain Report. “The models we see in lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, see this inflammatory process. But we do not see the same biomarkers in fibromyalgia. ”
Gillis said the investigation is not yet finalized and awaiting publication in a medical journal in the coming months.
When the first FM test EpicGenetics said he was 93% accuracy in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Gillis said the test sensitivity is now estimated at 99%, which is almost the same as the test used to diagnose HIV.
The National Institutes of Health estimates that 5 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia – and millions around the world – but so far only a few hundred have registered to take the test FM. Gillis says the cost of $ 744, which is generally not covered by health insurance, could be a barrier for many patients.
“Many people who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia do not work. And because they do not work do not have the means to pay for a test. They not have health insurance, “said Gillis, adding that some insurers paid proof in case of workers’ compensation.
“When we started, it cost us $ 12,500 to analyze the parameters of the immune system of a patient. So we brought the price way, way down. ”
Gillis hopes to bring the price of FM test permission to other laboratories for the collection of blood and blood samples for EpicGenetics ship.
Whatever the cost, fibromyalgia patients are excited that a simple test could possibly be available to diagnose a disorder that your doctors and relatives are often skeptical about. It takes three to five years for the average patient to diagnose fibromyalgia.
“Having a reliable marker of blood will VALIDATE as patients. a field of dreams and opportunities for compassionate researchers on the definition of this terrible disorder will open, “said Celeste Cooper, a patient with fibromyalgia and patient advocate.
“Once we have a biological test, we know that the study participants with fibromyalgia. There will be no biased results, and in the mouth of psychological illness is in our rearview mirror. This is a salty thought. ”
In recent months, there have been several potential advances in research of fibromyalgia.
Ohio State researchers are in the early stages of development of other blood tests for fibromyalgia. Using a high-power infrared microscope, which identified a pattern of molecules in the blood appears to be unique to fibromyalgia patients.
Another team of researchers in New York found that patients with fibromyalgia have excess sensory nerve fibers in the blood vessels of the hands, which can disrupt the flow of blood throughout the body.
“In less than six months, we have two studies reporting the success of fibromyalgia by the analysis of blood markers. Now seems to introduce a kingdom of form beyond more than one debate, “said Cooper.
“It is a victory for the scientific community and a win for the patient. I doubt this is the last. Expect more research, because the race is “and what a glorious career will be for those of us who live with the daily fibromyalgia.
The research could also lead to the discovery of a genetic marker for fibromyalgia – a gene that makes some people more likely to develop the disease.
EpicGenetics saves much blood samples received from patients taking the exam FM in the hope of one day having analyzed them for RiboNucleicAcid (RNA) molecules involved in protein synthesis and the transmission of genetic information.
“Patients more we have, the more RNA that can search for marker genes. If we can get thousands and thousands of copies, it will be much easier to find specific genetic markers, “said Gillis.