They are looking for fibromyalgia patients for a clinical trial on the blood test.
Suffering from fibromyalgia means coping with pain, sleep disorders, depression, and memory and thinking problems.
So difficult can it be the skepticism of friends, family and the medical community that doubt the validity of the disease itself.
Little understood and often misdiagnosed, fibromyalgia affects about 2% of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This number is discussed by others who say it affects more than 10 million Americans, or about 6% of the population, said Dr. Bruce Gillis, founder of Epicogenetics, a biomedical company that developed the FM / blood test. Diagnosed fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain and tenderness of muscles and joints throughout the body or in localized areas along with other symptoms including frequent headaches, poor sleep, restless legs or leg cramps, numbness or tingling
Among the victims, it affects about 60% of women and 40% of men, Gillis said.
For hundreds of years, fibromyalgia has been misinterpreted, Gillis said. Patients – mainly women – were labeled as neurotic. A century ago, women could be institutionalized. In the 1970s, doctors widely prescribed Valium to treat, Gillis said.
It was classified as a syndrome or a cluster of symptoms rather than a disease, said Gillis, who previously was in the private practice of treating patients with fibromyalgia.
To test fibromyalgia, many patients spent three to five years visiting doctors for “exclusion tests,” Gillis said. For example, lupus was either tested and discarded or rheumatoid arthritis was misdiagnosed.
With the assistance of major medical universities, including the University of California, Los Angeles; The University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School developed the FM / a test.
Diagnose fibromyalgia by identifying the presence of specific abnormalities of white blood cells that have been documented to exist in these patients. The test is FDA compliant and was introduced in 2013.
The test requires less than one ounce of blood. It looks at the chromosomes of the white blood cells in the immune system and the patterns of movement of the cytokines, Gillis said.
Patients with fibromyalgia have an irregular pattern in relation to these proteins. Health care providers can request the test, which is covered by Medicare and often by insurance.
“I think we are at the forefront of the advancement of scientific information on fibromyalgia and answering these critical questions for patients: 1) Do I have fibromyalgia? 2) How and why did I develop fibromyalgia? And 3) Is there a direct treatment for fibromyalgia? “Gillis said.
In an effort to investigate not only the cause of fibromyalgia, but to develop effective treatment, the 250 Campaign is seeking 250,000 volunteers to take the FM / A test for free.
Patients who receive a positive diagnosis may choose to participate in a clinical trial of a specific fibromyalgia vaccine that will attempt to relieve symptoms related to fibromyalgia.
The study will be led by Dr. Denise Faustman, director of Immunobiology Laboratories at Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School, who studies common markets and DNA traits in her research on an FM vaccine.
“People with fibromyalgia no longer need to hear others say,” It’s all in your head “or” It looks perfectly fine. “You can not see the immune system at work,” Gillis said.