It is a more prevalent chronic syndrome in women, representing 85% of the affected population. Most of these patients are diagnosed between 35 and 60 years old. It is estimated to affect 2.4% of the population.
Due to the similarity of FM´s symptoms to those of other diseases there is no specific test for this condition, it is difficult to specify the diagnosis and it is done late. In fact, fibromyalgia is usually associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Today, both etiology and physiopathology of this syndrome are unknown. However, in 2018 researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (USA) and the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) found in these patients that glial cells – microglia and astrocytes, responsible for the metabolism and support of neurons – release inflammatory factors that sensitize the pathways of pain and contribute to symptoms such as fatigue or tiredness. Thus, fibromyalgia is believed to be linked to changes in the way our brain and spinal cord process/send pain signals.
- Increase of pain sensitivity
- General pain emphasized with stress periods
- Rigidity or muscle spasms
- Tingling in hands, arms or legs
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Difficulty to sleep
In addition, patients also often report symptoms of: anxiety, depression, dry eyes or mouth, cognitive deficits (attention, memory, etc.), all of which affect their quality of life and their environment.
In spite of advances in the understanding of central and peripheral pain, we lack a pathophysiological objective for the treatment of FM. However, multidimensional management is required: medicines capable of improving the excitability and sensitization of the nociceptive system, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), supervised exercise and relaxation techniques. As a more recent alternative that adds to this plural approach, we find deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS).
Neurocavis´ team use dTMS to treat FM. It consists of the application of pulses of electromagnetic energy, similar to those produce by Magnetic Resonance, which stimulate brain regions involved in the development of this syndrome.
Over 20 sessions during four consecutive weeks, an H shaped coil, H-Coil, stimulates the left-prefrontal dorsolateral cortex (DLPFc) and deep brain nuclei located up to 6 cm under the cortex. The improvement experienced by the patients is due, in part, to the effects of neuromodulation produced by brain neuroplasticity induced by the stimulation.
DTMS is a non-invasive technique without side effects, applied in an outpatient basis that does not require anesthesia or hospitalization. It does not interrupt daily life activities or limit personal autonomy.