What are the current challenges in fibromyalgia research?
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a prevalent, complex and unknown disease, whose diagnosis and treatment continue to be a challenge for the health professionals, while it imposes a large economic burden on public and private healthcare systems.
Experts on FM expresses similar concerns regarding its management. The challenges in FM research are:
1) Improve diagnosis. There is a need to identify objective biomarkers to shorten the “journey to diagnosis”, that has an average time between 2 and 3 years.
2) Understand the pathophysiology of FM (in particular, centralized pain) to improve its treatment. We need to know the brain mechanisms involved in pain processing/modulation to develop effective treatments.
3) Improve the training of the clinicians to give better support to the patients and their families. Health professionals consider difficult dealing with FM, owing to the uncertainty surrounding the disease and to the lack of objective proof for its diagnosis.
4) Recognize the heterogeneity of the patients with FM and the need of personalized treatments.
5) Improve self-management strategies and autonomy in dealing with the disease.
6) Translate research into real care practice. Research should result in practical and sustainable solutions to improve management of FM.