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DescriptionTitle: To what extent can early-life stress be explained as a predisposing factor in the development of fibromyalgia?
This topic needs to be discussed in 2,500 words and I also need to present a 500 word lay-summary.

A good answer will include:
• A high level of critical evaluation of literature.
• Evidence of wider reading.
• A clear and coherent argument.
• An evaluation of the direction of possible future research.
• Use of the style of language appropriate for your audience

Key articles:
• Burke, N. N., Finn, D. P., McGuire, B. E., & Roche, M. (2016). Psychological stress in early life as a predisposing factor for the development of chronic pain: clinical and preclinical evidence and neurobiological mechanisms. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 95(6), 1257-1270.
• Jones, G. T. (2016). Psychosocial vulnerability and early life adversity as risk factors for central sensitivity syndromes. Current Rheumatology Reviews, 12(2), 140-153.
• Low, L., A., & Schweinhardt, P. (2012). Early life adversity as a risk factor for fibromyalgia in later life. Pain Research and Treatment.
• Van Houdenhove, B., Egle, U., & Luyten, P. (2005). The role of life stress in fibromyalgia. Current Rheumatology Reports, 7(5), 365-370.

Anticipated main argument points:
• There are biological, psychological, and social factors that can be seen as determinant factors of fibromyalgia.
• Among the psychological factors is early-life stress or adversity, such as childhood abuse, emotional neglect, parental death or poverty. These factors can alter the stress response systems in the individual that can eventually cause an increased incidence of chronic pain in later life, which can lead to chronic pain disorders, e.g. fibromyalgia.
• Behind this causation can be found a neurobiological mechanism that can explain the association between early-life stress and chronic pain in fibromyalgia.
• The HPA axis and the autonomic nervous system are altered in fibromyalgia which might be the result of a lower threshold of pain sensitivity.

The lecturer’s feedback on the main argument points: Appropriate title. It is good to see that you are addressing both psychological and biological factors in the essay. There is a clear structure to your essay plan but please make sure that you take a critical approach in discussing the methods through which these factors have been identified.

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