OBJECTIVE: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a common chronic pain disorder associated with altered activity of neurotransmitters involved in pain sensitivity such as dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline. FMS may significantly impact an individual’s functioning due to the presence of chronic pain, fatigue, and cognitive impairment. Dyscognition may be more disabling than the chronic pain but is mostly under-recognized. This study aimed to assess the potential co-occurrence of FMS and adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder also associated with impaired cognition and dopaminergic function.
METHODS : In a cross-sectional observational study, 123 previously confirmed FMS patients were screened for adult ADHD using the World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self Report scale v1.1. The Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ-R) was used to assess the impact of FMS. Cognitive assessment was based on self-report in accordance with the 2011 modified American College of Rheumatology criteria and the FIQ-R, respectively.
RESULTS : Of the 123 participants, 44.72% (N = 55) screened positive for adult ADHD. Participants with both FMS and a positive adult ADHD screening test scored higher on the FIQ-R score (64.74, SD = 17.66, vs 54.10, SD = 17.10). Self-reported cognitive impairment was rated higher in the combined group (odds ratio = 10.61, 95% confidence interval; 3.77–29.86, P < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS : These results indicate that the co-occurrence of adult ADHD in FMS may be highly prevalent and may also significantly impact the morbidity of FMS. Patients with FMS should be assessed for the presence of adult ADHD.