blood test for fibromyalgia?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by bpmwriter, May 6, 2005.

  1. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    hi all,

    i mentioned in a recent post that i was going to be participating in a clinical trial for lyrica. well, the doctor called to set up my first appointment today; i wasn't home so my mom took the call. this doctor told her that they were going to do some blood work on the first visit including a test that is able to detect fibromyalgia in the blood! the doctor said they were excited at this new development in their research.

    does anyone know what she might be talking about??

    i'm assuming it involves hypercoagulation, sticky blood, but those issues wouldn't automatically mean a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, would they?? i'm a bit confused but very curious now for my visit.

  2. elliespad

    elliespad Member


    The patented Anti-Polymer Antibody Assay, or APA Assay, detects anti-polymer antibodies in the blood of most patients with fibromyalgia and fibromyalgia-like symptoms. Research has shown that the titers of these antibodies correlate with various clinical measures of fibromyalgia severity, including headache, fatigue, anxiety and depression. This and other research data strongly suggests that fibromyalgia is associated with an abnormal immune-system response in these patients.

    Autoimmune Technologies believes the APA Assay to be the first practical laboratory test for fibromyalgia. The Company expects the test to be useful (i) in assisting physicians in diagnosing fibromyalgia, (ii) in assisting physicians in differentiating fibromyalgia patients from patients with lupus (SLE) and other disorders having similar early-stage symptoms, and (iii) in identifying those fibromyalgia patients in whom a symptom-associated immune response is present so that physicians can further monitor immune-system involvement and consider attempting to modulate it using existing drugs or other means.

    The Company is conducting clinical trials of the APA ELISA Kit for submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The kit is now available for purchase and use outside the U.S. but cannot be sold in the U.S. during the clinical trial period. Physicians and researchers inside or outside the U.S. who are interested in research use of the APA Assay may request that the test be run on a per-patient basis in a qualitative, strip-assay format. The Corgenix Medical Corporation press release of August 19, 2004 discussing the APA ELISA Kit can be found on the News Releases page.

    Click on the links below for scientific information, ordering information and questions and answers about the APA Assay.

  3. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    More on APA Test for Fibromyalgia Patients

    Date: Sun, 14 Feb 1999 11:26:30 -0700

    From: ilena rose


    Autoimmune Technologies, LLC

    144 Elks Place, Suite 1402

    New Orleans, Louisiana 70112 USA

    (504) 529-9944



    Contact: Russell B. Wilson, Ph.D., President, or Michael D. Charbonnet, Manager


    (NEW ORLEANS, February 10, 1999) Autoimmune Technologies, LLC, a New Orleans biotechnology company, today announced that scientists have discovered a new antibody in the blood of many fibromyalgia patients. This research is described in an article entitled "Anti-Polymer Antibody Reactivity in a Subset of Patients with Fibromyalgia Correlates with Severity," which appears in the February 1999 issue of The Journal of Rheumatology, a prominent scientific journal.

    Using a patented blood test called the Anti-Polymer Antibody Assay, or APA Assay, researchers found anti-polymer antibodies in approximately one-half of all patients who were diagnosed with fibromyalgia and in more than 60% of the fibromyalgia patients with severe fibromyalgia symptoms. Patients with diseases frequently confused with fibromyalgia, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and systemic sclerosis/scleroderma, had a much lower incidence of these antibodies than did the fibromyalgia patients. Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic pain disorder that affects millions of individuals, primarily women, in many countries throughout the world. The cause or causes of fibromyalgia are currently unknown, but researchers have suggested that trauma, infection, and exposure to environmental factors may all participate in the development of this debilitating illness. Together with widespread pain and tender points in various areas of the body, signs and symptoms include fatigue, sleep disorder, morning stiffness, headache, cognitive problems, and other symptoms. In the United States, some 3% to 5% of adult women meet the strict diagnostic criteria of the American College of Rheumatology for fibromyalgia, but as many as 15% to 20% of adult women may have fibromyalgia-like symptoms. Fibromyalgia syndrome is often difficult to diagnose, and typically a diagnosis is reached through the time-consuming and expensive process of ruling out other illnesses that have similar symptoms. In addition, many physicians consider fibromyalgia to be the result of aging and other normal body processes and do not regard it as a distinct clinical disorder. The resulting reluctance on the part of some physicians to attribute their patients' symptoms to a specific illness has added considerably to the distress of many fibromyalgia patients. Until now, there has been no laboratory test to help identify fibromyalgia. "Our results show that there is a unique immunological response in many fibromyalgia patients," said Russell B. Wilson, Ph.D., president of Autoimmune Technologies and lead investigator of the published study. "We hope that these findings will lead to a better understanding of the illness and to the development of treatments for these patients."

    It is possible, Dr. Wilson pointed out, that anti-polymer antibodies are associated with one of the several different causes of fibromyalgia, perhaps the cause that tends to produce the most severe symptoms. The published data indicate that this may be the case, although more research will be needed. In addition to serving as a marker for fibromyalgia, he noted, it is also possible that these antibodies are directly involved in initiating or promoting fibromyalgia.

    The development of a laboratory test for fibromyalgia was welcomed byexperts in the field. "The fibromyalgia syndrome is common in clinical medicine and in the general community. We also have data on its cost," said I. Jon Russell, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally recognized fibromyalgia investigator and clinician from the University of Texas Health Center at San Antonio. "The direct medical costs of this disorder to the U.S. economy are over $16 billion annually. The findings of this study raise the hopeful prospect that a new test will help us better understand fibromyalgia. Further research is needed to confirm the clinical specificity of the test relative to other painful conditions. In addition, it will be important to determine whether the antibody identified by this test in the blood of people with fibromyalgia is related to the cause of the disorder or simply represents an interesting epiphenomenon," Dr. Russell said.

    Associated factors appear in parallel in epiphenomena. If further research shows the production of anti-polymer antibodies to be an epiphenomenon, the antibodies would serve as a laboratory marker for fibromyalgia without playing a direct role in the disease process.

    Kristin Thorson is president of The Fibromyalgia Network, a patient self-help organization headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, and president of The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association, a charitable organization dedicated to funding research on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. "In the past," Ms. Thorson said, "many health insurance companies and some members of the medical community have argued that fibromyalgia is not real - all because no one had developed a lab marker to indicate otherwise. Now that there is a blood marker that can be shown to correlate with disease severity, there should be no more debate over the existence of fibromyalgia and scientists should be encouraged to research effective therapies for this potentially disabling illness."

    Robert M. Bennett, M.D., a physician and scientist who is chairman of the Division of Arthritis and Rheumatic Disease of Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland and a widely published and internationally known expert on fibromyalgia syndrome, said "There are two major problems for most physicians in accepting fibromyalgia. The first is the lack of an easily performed laboratory test. The second is its recalcitrance to therapy. The promise of a potentially useful diagnostic marker is an exciting development in this field. If the sensitivity and specificity of this test can be confirmed by independent laboratories, it could open up an important new research avenue for a condition that compromises the quality of life of five million to ten million U.S. women."

    Autoimmune Technologies expects during 1999 to apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval of a kit form of the Assay as a diagnostic test. "The reproducibility of the APA Assay has already been independently demonstrated by the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, or RIVM, in The Netherlands," said Dr. Wilson. "The RIVM has found the APA Assay to give reproducible results and to be useful for the evaluation of the presence of anti-polymer antibodies in human serum. The other confirmatory studies discussed by Drs. Russell and Bennett are already well under way. These studies, together with our research published in The Journal of Rheumatology, will be included in our application to the FDA for approval of the Assay as an in vitro diagnostic test to aid in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia."

    Other authors of the article in this month's issue of The Journal of Rheumatology include Dr. Oscar S. Gluck and Dr. John R. P. Tesser of the Arizona Rheumatology Center in Phoenix, Dr. Janet C. Rice of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and Dr. Alan J. Bridges of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in Madison.

    Anti-polymer antibodies were discovered by researchers at Tulane University Medical Center, where the APA Assay was developed. Autoimmune Technologies has licensed the APA Assay from Tulane. An APA Assay kit is not currently in commercial distribution in the U.S., although the Assay is being performed by Autoimmune Technologies as a service to physicians and researchers for investigational use only. A kit form of the APA Assay will be available in the near future in other countries.

    The APA Assay is covered by U.S. and European patents, and patents in other countries are pending. For further information, visit the Autoimmune Technologies Web site at

  4. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    thanks for sending along this info. i'm on the cutting edge! i'll make sure to report back after the test. how cool.

  5. elliespad

    elliespad Member

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    April 04, 2005
    New Blood Test Detects Multiple Sclerosis
    "A protein pattern or "molecular footprint" in the blood can distinguish patients with multiple sclerosis from healthy subjects, preliminary research suggests, which could make diagnosis of the disease much easier.

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    According to the report in the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, the test identified three patterns seen only in patients with multiple sclerosis, not in healthy subjects."

    Source: ReutersHealth

    April 4, 2005 at 08:07 AM in Medical News | Permalink
  6. Krista47

    Krista47 New Member


  7. smiffy79

    smiffy79 New Member

    hi all
    please keep this one up to date,.
    if its right and it works then this is awesome-imagine the suffering it will cut out no maore going back and forth and no more being fobbed off,wow.
    eddie please keep us posted :)
    cheers smiffy.way cool-cant wait to tell my family.
  8. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    Look how reliable Lyme Testing is. And what about the ones who do NOT test positive? Could get ugly.
  9. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    yonder, the way i understand it, the theory they're working with here is that fibromyalgia symptoms are caused by an enhanced immune response, but not tied specifically to a virus. the test detects these "anti-polymer" antibodies, but researchers aren't sure what their beef is(ie. why they're there, where they come from).

    in a way it seems strange that the research facility that's testing me is going to be treating me with lyrica. it doesn't seem to fit the theory behind the testing. lyrica addresses the pain response in the central nervous system, not immune system abnormalities. hmm.

    i wonder what effect this might have on ssdi claims. will a positive test for fibromyalgia help with the claims process?

    [This Message was Edited on 05/07/2005]
  10. sydneysider

    sydneysider Member

    If possible, can you please let us know what tests your doctor does. I am very interested.

    I've read about the APA test,but apparently only about 50% of FM sufferers show positive to this test. Also, around 10% of normals show positive to this test. So, although it is a big step in the right direction, I don't think that it is the definitive test that we really need.

    Interestingly, however, I read somewhere on the Autoimmune web site that there are other "markers" for FM. Unfortunately no details were given.
  11. smiffy79

    smiffy79 New Member

    hi eddie
    have you been yet?
    please let us know when your back.what will it involve?sorry have loads more questions and dont want to bombard you.
  12. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    hi smiffy,

    my appointment is at 11 am (EST) on wednesday. i'll post details wed. afternoon so check back on this thread.

  13. smiffy79

    smiffy79 New Member

    goodluck for tomorrow morning eddie.
  14. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    the blood test being used by the docs in my clinical study is an ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate). they had never heard of the APA assay test. the ESR test doesn't detect antibodies in the blood, it's basically used to rule out other inflammatory conditions. i didn't even get my first dose of lyrica because i copped to being on zanaflex to help with sleep. i have to observe a 7 day "wash out" period and go back next week.

  15. gcastle

    gcastle New Member

    Maybe now they'll check in it some more and do more research because YOU told them about it. I've heard of the sedementary test before.

    Thanks for getting out there and trying!!

  16. smiffy79

    smiffy79 New Member

    hello again eddie
    sorry you feel its an anti climax. its a shame but a time will come.all the very best of luck for next week.
    smiffy xxxooooxxx
  17. cafe52

    cafe52 New Member

    I was affraid you were going to say your doc never heard of it. But thats ok lets educate our docs on this test. As for the sed rate test I had one of those too my primary doc said it was too high but my rheumy said it wasn't that high so I'm back to the beginning I have 3 docs with 3 different oppinions about whats wrong witm go figure.
  18. elliespad

    elliespad Member

  19. sydneysider

    sydneysider Member

  20. Gosia

    Gosia New Member