Health Topics

Central Sensitivity Syndromes closer to being internationally recognised

In Catalonia, there are more than 250,000 people diagnosed with Central Sensitivity Syndrome (CSS). If the WHO would recognise Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Electrohypersensitivity as diseases, which are included in Central Sensitivity, their diagnosis could be unified and their treatment personalised. Central Sensitivity Syndrome includes diseases such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Electrohypersensitivity, and Headache, among others.

In 1989, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised and classified Fibromyalgia (FM) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the scientific community established the disease criteria, including these in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). FM is classified in the field of rheumatology and the SFC in neurology.

Over the last 15 years, two further Central Sensitivity Syndromes have appeared: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and Electrohypersensitivity (EHS). Their incidence is increasing, and they are closely associated with the other two Central Sensitivity Syndromes. MCS and EHS have been recognised by some countries, but not yet by the WHO. In Spain, since 2014, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity has been classified as a "non-specific allergy". Electrohypersensitivity (EHS), on the other hand, is not currently recognised by the WHO or other countries.

Since 2016, the Catalan government’s Ministry if Health has had a Common Action Plan entitled Central Sensitivity. Hospital Clínic, in Barcelona, has been coordinating the care of Central Sensitivity Diseases in the Barcelona-Esquerra Area (AISBE) as a specialised hospital unit since November 2017.

The fact that these are increasingly recognised as diseases and classified at the international level helps to specify and homogenise their diagnosis, as well as enabling an improved therapeutic approach to each disease.