Association between depression and fibromyalgia
The current study supports a bidirectional temporal association between depression and fibromyalgia such that each disease occurring first may increase the risk of the other subsequently. This result may imply a shared pathophysiology between fibromyalgia and depression, but further investigation is needed.
Fibromyalgia (FM) is often characterised by a cluster of symptoms including chronic and widespread musculoskeletal pain, hyperalgesia, allodynia, fatigue as well as other functional and somatic complaints. Many studies have further reported a link between fibromyalgia and depression, suggesting comorbidity as well as symptom overlap. The current longitudinal study investigated the relationship between depression and FM in a large nationwide sample.
Using a nationwide database, 25,969 patients with FM and without any psychiatric disorder and 17.142 patients with depression and without FM took part in the study and were compared with matched controls over a period of several years. Patients who developed depression or FM were identified during the follow up.
The results showed an increased risk for patients with depression to develop FM and those with FM were more likely to develop depression during follow up compared with controls. The authors propose the role of immunological and inflammatory processes, comorbidities as well as cortical reorganisation as an explanation for the bidirectional association between depression and FMS. Further investigation is needed to provide insight as to the pathophysiology as well as the clinical implications.
> From: Chang et al., The Journal of Pain 16 (2015) 895-902. All rights reserved to American Pain Society. Click here for the Pubmed summary.