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All About FibromyalgiaA Guide for Patients and their Families$
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Daniel J. Wallace and Janice Brock Wallace

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195147537

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195147537.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 June 2021

The Future Holds a Lot of Hope

The Future Holds a Lot of Hope

26 The Future Holds a Lot of Hope
All About Fibromyalgia

Daniel J. Wallace

Janice Brock Wallace

Oxford University Press

When we became interested in fibromyalgia over 20 years ago, we quickly learned how it felt to be lonely. The Fibrositis Study Club (now the Fibromyalgia Study Club) of the American Rheumatism Association (now the American College of Rheumatology) had an average attendance of ten at its annual meetings. In 2001, more than 500 rheumatologists attended the same meeting. During the early 1980s, an average of 14 articles a year appeared in the fibromyalgia medical literature, and less than $100,000 was being spent annually on fibromyalgia research. The recognition of fibromyalgia by organized medicine as a distinct syndrome has had a salutary effect on research. As of this writing, 500 articles are now published yearly and $2 million is spent annually on research. All this attention and interest bodes well for more scientific breakthroughs in the field. What can fibromyalgia patients hope for over the next 20 years? In all probability, the name fibromyalgia will be replaced by a more all-encompassing term, one that includes related syndromes that have similar causes and physiologic processes. A better (and catchier) term that combines symptoms and signs reported in tension headache, pain amplification, irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bladder, and chronic fatigue syndrome, among others, will be devised and agreed on. When organized medicine marshals the resources of experts in gastroenterology, infectious disease, rheumatology, and other subspecialties to work together, our knowledge of pain amplification, neurotransmitter-mediated, behaviorally influenced fatigue syndromes will be increased, and research strategies will be better coordinated and focused. Fibromyalgia advocacy groups will unite to increase funding for research and education that will make a difference. We predict that 2–5 percent of the U.S. population has chronic neuromuscular pain with the systemic overlay mentioned above. Over the next 20 years, the precise racial and ethnic backgrounds of these individuals will be identified, as well as the genes that influence the process. Additionally, environmental and occupational factors that cause or aggravate chronic neuromuscular pain will be clarified. Through coordinated strategies involving all forms of media, the public will become aware of what fibromyalgia is and what factors are associated with it.

Keywords:   Fibromyalgia Study Club, benzodiazepine, ergonomics, gene manipulation, health professional training, nervous system, physical interventions, research advances

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