Abstract: Stress and autonomic dysregulation in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome

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Schmerz. 2004 May 12 [Epub ahead of print] [Article in German] Friederich HC, Schellberg D, Mueller K, Bieber C, Zipfel S, Eich W. Allgemeine Klinische und Psychosomatische Medizin, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik der Universitat Heidelberg.

AIM. The aim of the present study was to evaluate to what extent the orthostatic dysregulation of FMS patients can be attributed primarily to reduced baroreceptor-mediated activation of the sympathetic nervous system and whether a hyporeactive sympathetic nervous system can also be confirmed for mental stress.

PATIENTS AND METHODS. A total of 28 patients with primary FMS were examined and compared with 15 healthy subjects. Diagnostic investigations of the autonomic nervous system were based on measuring HRV in frequency range and assessing spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity (sBRS) under mental stress and passive orthostatism.

RESULTS. Both under orthostatic and mental stress FMS patients exhibited reduced activation of the sympathetic nervous system as measured by the spectral power of HRV in the low-frequency range and the mean arterial blood pressure or heart rate. The present study provided no indications for dysregulation of sBRS.

CONCLUSION. The results obtained confirm the hypothesis of a hyporeactive stress system in FMS patients for both peripherally and centrally mediated stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. PMID: 15138868 [PubMed]

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