Genetic Factors in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Widespread Pain
Chronic widespread pain, including fibromyalgia, is a pain disorder with genetic links. Learn what genes may influence a person’s perception and sensitivity to pain.
Pain is influenced equally by genetic and environmental factors, working in concert to control how humans process it. Pain sensitivity falls on a bell-shaped curve in the general population. The higher the volume control setting, the more pain a person will experience, irrespective of nociceptive input.
During the past decade pain research has focused on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to help decipher which genes may be involved in pain generation. In fact, similar genetic factors have been identified among patients with fibromyalgia and chronic widespread pain (CWP). Investigations have looked for altered DNA sequence variations of a single nucleotide (A, T, C, or G). Other genetic advances in pain research include genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and epigenetics.