Background: Somatic [physical] symptoms are common in conditions such as fibromyalgia (FM) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Objective: Authors investigated a potential shared pathologic mechanism: a generalized perceptual abnormality where there is heightened responsiveness to varied sensory stimulation, including pain.
Method: A composite measure of sensory sensitivity was created and compared with measures of somatic symptoms, comorbid psychological disturbances, and self-reported physical functioning in 38 patients with FM and/or CFS.
Results: Sensory amplification influenced physical functioning indirectly through pain intensity, and physical symptoms and fatigue also independently contributed to physical functioning.
Conclusion: Sensory amplification may be an underlying pathophysiologic mechanism in these disorders that is relatively independent of depression and depressive symptoms.
Source: Psychosomatics. May-June 2008. 49:235-242. PMID: 18448779, by Geisser ME, Donnell CS, Petzke F, Graceley RH, Clauw DJ, Williams DA. Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center and Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany [E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]