Fibromyalgia Symptoms Associated with Gene Variant

Editor’s comment: Catechol-O-methyltransferase is one of several enzymes involved in the degradation or inactivation of the catecholamine neurotransmitters (dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine). In humans, the catechol-O-methyltransferase protein is encoded by the COMT gene. The Val158Met polymorphism is a gene variant that breaks down dopamine much faster than normal and is thought to modulate dopamine signaling in the brain’s frontal lobes. This gene variant has been shown to affect cognitive tasks and may be relevant for emotional processing. The results of this study found an association between this gene variant and certain fibromyalgia symptoms.

Clinical symptoms in fibromyalgia are associated to catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene Val158Met polymorphism.

By A. Inanir, et al.


1.?Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a common chronic widespread pain syndrome mainly affecting women. The aim of this study was to explore the frequency and clinical significance of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene Val158Met polymorphism in a large cohort of Turkish patients with FMS.

2.?The study included 379 FMS patients and 290 controls. Genomic DNA was isolated and genotyped using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analyses.

3.?The genotype frequencies of Val158Met polymorphism showed a small difference between FMS patients and healthy controls (p?=?0.047), however, the Met/Met genotype was significantly higher in FMS patients than healthy controls (p?=?0.016). No difference was observed for allele frequencies between two groups. Stratification analysis according to clinical features for this disease reveals that weight, FMS Impact Questionnaire score, algometry and Raynaud’s syndrome, were detected to have statistically significant associations with Val158Met polymorphism (p?=?0.037, p?=?0.042, p?=?0.039 and p?=?0.033, respectively). Pain sensitivity, measured by algometry, was statistically higher in patients with Met/Met genotype than the patients with Val/Val and Val/Met genotypes (p?=?0.017).

4.?The results of this study suggested that COMT gene Val158Met polymorphism is positively associated with FMS and play a relevant role in the clinical symptoms of the disease.

Source: Xenobiotica, April 24, 2014. By A. Inanir, N. Karakus, O. Ates, S. Sezer, N. Bozkurt, S. Inanir and S. Yigit. Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine.

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One thought on “Fibromyalgia Symptoms Associated with Gene Variant”

  1. elvis321 says:

    I do find this study interesting, and wonder if??? there is anything to indicate Frontal Lobe dysfunction may also be due to birth trauma ie: lack of oxygen, resuscitation post birth etc that causes a brain injury. Is is strictly the gene? There is trending of this in children with ADHD. I’m thinking there is a correlation.
    I guess I’d also like to know…what’s this now going to do for those of us already diagnosed? O.K. if you now know a cause…but what makes it different, can be done? Still nothing.

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