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Northern Ireland Conference

Dr. Patrick Wood MD and Kim LawsonI am writing this from a hotel in Coleraine and thinking back to the conference that was held here on Saturday. There was a tremendous turnout of over 240 people and its a quick visual reminder to anyone that has difficulty in believing in fibromyalgia. The conferences speakers ranged in topics from personal experience of fibromyalgia, a different method of looking at fibromyalgia, the latest pharmacological Dr. Chris Idzikowskiapproaches and medical evidence as well as recognising and dealing with depression.

FMA UK's Medical Advisory Board member Kim Lawson presented an interesting view of fibromyalgia that encouraged the separation of the symptomatic elements of fibromyalgia from the underlying condition itself. He also expressed a need to not only categorise fibromyalgia in terms of its pain but also give more weight to the other symptoms. He used the analogy that we do not describe diabetes in terms of its symptoms so why should we do this with fibromyalgia.

Patrick Wood also spoke about the somewhat "cute" name FibroFog that we all experience and stressed that this "cute" name belied its impact on peoples lives. This symptom changes people lives and reduces people from being confident of dealing with a professional demanding career to taking up jobs that they feel comfortable with.

He presented slides with PET scans, fMRI's and others that showed the objective proof of fibromyalgia acting in patients and the difference in reactions with control groups when pain was experienced.

Northern Ireland conferenceA further report will be forthcoming and FMS NI will be releasing a DVD of the conference so that people can access all the useful information that was presented. However another thing to add is that Patrick Wood will be joining FMA UK, Rob Wilson and others in the meeting with the Under Secretary for the Department of Health Ann Keen on Monday to discus Fibromyalgia and its recent rejection by Nice and ways in which we can improve access to treatment.

I have to thank Rob Wilson for all the hard work that he does as the head of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Fibromyalgia in helping arranging this meeting and of course the debate at Westminster.

Des Quinn

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