Tender point scores reflect generalized pain and pain behavior in fibromyalgia patients, however, these scores are not independently related to psychological distress, according to a new study. Investigators used criteria defined by the American College of Rheumatology to assess tenderness at 18 discrete points in 111 fibromyalgia patients recruited from both private and university clinics. The patients also underwent a comprehensive evaluation of generalized pain, pain behavior, and psychological distress.
A composite index of four different measurements was used to evaluate generalized pain, while pain behaviors were determined by comparison to a videotaped index. Measured levels of stress and depression were used as assessments of generalized psychological distress. Using multiple regression analysis, the investigators found that tender point scores were independently related to the patients’ generalized pain and pain behavior. There was no relationship between tender point scores and measured depression or stress.
In addition to pain and pain behavior, a shorter duration of illness was found to be independently related to the tender point scores. A study published in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry in 1993 proved that individual’s with mood disorders are especially affected by aspartame consumption. Researchers have also singled out chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, brain tumors, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects and diabetes as being sensitive to aspartame consumption.
A study conducted by the Department of Neurology at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Tulsa examined the relationship between migraine headaches and aspartame. The study confirmed that aspartame may provoke headaches in susceptible individuals. Additional studies on the topic confirmed the findings. Researchers in the Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle conducted a double-blind crossover study on 32 subjects. The study found an increased incidence of headaches reported by the participants who ingested aspartame and reported that some individuals may want to limit their aspartame consumption.
Despite the FDA’s long term hesitation to approve aspartame they are standing by their decision. The FDA responds to complaints by stating that aspartic acid and phenylalanine are amino acids and methanol is found naturally occurring in fruits. However, when aspartic acid and phenylalanine are unaccompanied by other amino acids they are neurotoxic and fruit also contains ethanol which protects against the effects of the methanol. The FDA fails to address these major differences.