Lady Gaga, Kirsty Young en Morgan Freeman hebben het misschien, maar er is tot nu toe weinig hoop voor mensen met fibromyalgie.
De invaliderende aandoening treft tot 4% van de bevolking en heeft geen bekende remedie.
Maar een nieuwe studie had op zijn minst een van de oorzaken hiervan kunnen vinden.
Wetenschappers ontdekten dat fibromyalgie-patiënten veel of weinig soorten darmbacteriën hadden in vergelijking met andere mensen.
En deze ontdekking kan cruciaal zijn om mensen te helpen snellere diagnoses te stellen.
Ze analyseerden de darmbacteriën van 156 mensen die in Montreal, Canada woonden – 77 van hen hadden fibromyalgie.
Ze werden allemaal geïnterviewd voordat ze monsters van kak, bloed, speeksel en urine gaven, allemaal vergeleken met mensen zonder deze aandoening.
Darmbacteriën veranderen met de toestand
Ze ontdekten dat mensen met fibromyalgie een drastische samenstelling van darmbacteriën hadden voor degenen die dat niet deden.
A equipe do Centro de Saúde da Universidade McGill usou inteligência artificial para confirmar que as mudanças na bactéria não foram causadas por dieta, medicação, exercício ou idade.
Using their computer, they were able to diagnose people with the condition simply by looking at their gut microbiome – with nearly 90 per cent accuracy.
More pain = more bacteria changes
“We found that fibromyalgia and the symptoms of fibromyalgia – pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties – contribute more than any of the other factors to the variations we see in the microbiomes of those with the disease,” lead author of the study, Amir Minerbi, said.
“We also saw that the severity of a patient’s symptoms was directly correlated with an increased presence or a more pronounced absence of certain bacteria – something which has never been reported before.”
At the moment, scientists still don’t understand why people with fibromyalgia would have a different gut bacteria balance.
Because the condition is a cluster of symptoms rather than one issue, the next stage of research will involve investigating whether similar changes to gut bacteria are present in other conditions that revolve around chronic pain.
Does the gut bacteria balance cause pain? And if does have an impact on pain, does that mean a cure may be on the horizon?
At the moment, fibromyalgia patients can wait up to five years for a diagnosis.
AI diagnosis is 87% accurate
But that could be about to change.
Emmanuel Gonzalez, from the McGill team, said that their computer was able to make a diagnosis of fibromyalgia based only on the composition of the gut microbiome.
It had an 87 per cent accuracy.
“As we build on this first discovery with more research, we hope to improve upon this accuracy, potentially creating a step-change in diagnosis,” he said.
The scientists’ next steps will be to see if they get similar results in another group of participants.
The findings come after a study published back in March found that the condition might soon be detected via a simple blood test.
At the time, study co-author Luis Rodriguez-Saona, called the initial results “ remarkable”.
They found that there were clear patterns in the blood of patients with fibromyalgia that made them distinct from those with the other disorders.