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Might there be genetic risk factors for shared vulnerability to pain and mood disorders?

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By Karen Lommel, Leslie Crofford, et al. • www.ProHealth.com • July 6, 2011


[Note: This University of Kentucky study involved a group of teen girls who had been hospitalized for mood/psychiatric disorders. Some of the girls met the criteria for primary juvenile fibromyalgia and some did not. Based on questionnaires filled out by the girls’ maternal relatives (55 in all), virtually all these maternal relatives scored higher on pain, fatigue, impaired function, etc. than even the typical FM or CFS patient. That is, the findings were the same regardless of whether the teen relative had FM or not. Does this point to genetic risk factors for shared vulnerability to pain and mood disorders - and/or pain triggered by the stress of a child with a significant mood disorder?]
____

Article:
A pilot study: Pain, fatigue and stress in maternal relatives of adolescent female psychiatric inpatients assessed for juvenile primary fibromyalgia syndrome
– Source: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, Jul 2011

By Karen Lommel, Leslie Crofford, et al.

This study was designed to assess the presence of pain and impaired functioning in the maternal relatives of adolescent females in an inpatient adolescent psychiatric population. We compared the relatives of adolescents who met the criteria for juvenile primary fibromyalgia syndrome (JPFS) to relatives of adolescents who did not meet the criteria for JPFS.

Methods: A total of 55 biological maternal relatives of adolescent females admitted to a psychiatric unit were recruited to participate in the study. Participants completed four self-administered questionnaires: Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, Medical Outcomes Survey (SF36v2), and the EPIFUND Health Survey.

Results: The maternal relatives of adolescents who met the criteria for juvenile primary fibromyalgia syndrome did not score higher than the maternal relatives of adolescents who did not meet the criteria for JPFS.

However, all maternal relatives consistently scored higher on self-reported measures of pain, impaired functioning, fatigue, and fibromyalgia symptoms than the average patient diagnosed with fibromyalgia or a chronic pain syndrome.

Conclusion: Mood disorders and pain disorders share genetic risk factors and vulnerability. Future research is needed to further delineate other factors impacting the maternal caregivers' functioning. These could include stress associated with an adolescent child with psychiatric issues severe enough to warrant hospitalization.

Source: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, Jul 2011. 23(1):59-63. PMID:21721365, by Lommel K, Bamford J, Jhavari M, Martin C, Crofford L. Division of Rheumatology and College of Public Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA. [Email: karen.lommel@uky.edu]





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