Thursday, April 14, 2011

Possible genetic link in FMS/CFS

Two separate research groups have published new findings regarding genetic susceptibility and fibromyalgia.

A Wisconsin group investigated whether a gene mutation called the apolipoprotein E4 (Apo E4) allele is linked to fibromyalgia.  The study found that people with at least one copy of Apo E4 and an environmental factor (such as a car accident) were more likely to have the illness.

However, having fibromyalgia with Apo E4 didn't appear to make the condition worse.

Research from a Texas group looked into the frequency of a particular gene polymorphism (variant of a trait) called Beta (2)-adrenergic receptor, or B(2)AR.

This polymorphism was significantly lower in fibromyalgia participants than in controls, suggesting it also could be a risk factor.  The polymorphism also appeared to be connected to sleep dysfunction.

Researchers also say they demonstrated differences in cellular response that may explain why some subgroups of fibromyalgia react differently than others to adrenergic agonist medications that are frequently prescribed for the condition.

The discoveries in both of these studies offer additional biological evidence that fibromyalgia is a physiological illness and they may someday help doctors identify who is at risk.

Many researchers have long believed fibromyalgia involves a genetic predisposition because it frequently runs in families.

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