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Research into fibromyalgia has developed into a real challenge for the scientific community, especially due to the increase in its prevalence and the findings about its multicausal origin which underline the importance of a biopsychosocial perspective of health.
From a sociodemographic line of investigation, there is now a greater understanding of the socioeconomic impact and costs of the disease. With respect to medical and psychological assessment, it has been of great help to determine the prevalence of the syndrome, while exploring the symptoms, associated comorbidities and prognostic factors, developing and validating questionnaires to assess the disease and its impact, physical limitations, how patients cope, their acceptance, pessimism and perception of pain. Researchers have also been able to look further into certain clinical aspects of the symptomatology such as neurocognitive alterations affecting memory, attention, or decision-making.
In terms of basic research, there have been pioneering studies based on neuroimaging of the nociceptive system and other neurovegetative sensory systems and their responses to pain evoked at rest or during different contexts. These have led to the launch of some promising genetic and metabolic studies that represent important advances in our knowledge about the physiopathological mechanisms involved in fibromyalgia. Exploring them is a crucial step towards acquiring a complete understanding of fibromyalgia syndrome and being able to provide more effective treatments. Furthermore, a significant effort is being conducted in therapeutic research, highlighting a range of novel physical methods linked to exercise; without forgetting the studies into the efficacy of new drugs, cognitive behavioural therapy and multidisciplinary treatment programmes.