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Different microbiomes for patients with fibromyalgia



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Dr. Amir Minerbi and his colleagues at McGill University Health Center and University of Montreal have identified 19 bacterial species that vary in the microbial population of fibromyalgia.

The reference values

  • Fibromyalgia is characterized by pain in the muscles, tendons and ligaments;
  • It causes fatigue, sleep disorders and cognitive difficulties;
  • This incurable disease affects 2-4% of the population;
  • Chronic diffuse pain is his main symptom.

The Montreal team used a number of techniques, including artificial intelligence, to "confirm that the changes in the microbial population of people with fibromyalgia were not due to microbiomal modifying factors such as diet, drugs, exercise, and age.

We made a direct connection between an unprecedented observation, namely the severity of the symptoms and the presence or absence of certain bacteria.

Dr. Amir Minerbi

Egg or Chicken?

Researchers are currently unable to determine for sure whether the microbial changes observed in patients with fibromyalgia are merely markers of the disease or if they are relevant to its occurrence.

Dr. Minerbi and his team now want to see if there are similar changes in the intestinal microbioma in the presence of other chronic pains such as back pain, headache and neuropathic pain.

In addition, researchers want to know whether bacteria can cause pain and fibromyalgia, and if their presence alone can speed up the diagnostic process and even facilitate treatment.

You should know that fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose. Sometimes patients are waiting for a diagnosis of four or five years.

Thanks to machine learning, the computer was able to diagnose fibromyalgia from the only microbiome composition with a precision of 87%.

Emmanuel Gonzalez, McGill University Researcher

The researchers are trying to improve this amount, which could make the diagnosis easier in the years to come.

The details of these works are published in the journal bread (In English).

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