Okay, fibromyalgia has long been a mystery wrapped in an enigma. To the point not too long ago a lot of doctors didn’t believe it existed. While others thought it was a garbage diagnosis… when you couldn’t figure out anything else, BAM, fibro. But since then there has been a lot of research that has found discrepancies in the fibro brain. Those led to theories of neuro-inflammation theories.
So comes some new research using PET scans at the Karolinska Institutet and Massachusetts General Hospital published in the Journal of Brain, Behaviour, and Immunity. And they found? Glial cells, which are the central nervous system’s immune cells are all the rage in the fibro brain.
In 2012, Eva Kosek’s research group at Karolinska Institutet showed that patients with fibromyalgia had elevated levels of certain inflammatory substances (cytokines) in the cerebrospinal fluid, suggesting inflammation of the central nervous system. Their findings were subsequently corroborated by other researchers, but the source of the inflammation remained unknown.
The Glial cells become activated and this causes inflammation in the brain. They found this was largely in the cerebral cortex. And this was related to the fatigue levels we feel.
“As far as we know, this is the first time it’s been shown that glial cells are involved in the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia,” says Professor Eva Kosek from the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet.
“The findings may open the way for the development of completely new therapies for this currently difficult-to-treat condition,” says Professor Kosek. “The fact that scientific research is able to demonstrate objective aberrations in the brains of people with fibromyalgia will hopefully mitigate the suspicion with which patients are often treated by the health services and society.”
The study involved 31 fibromyalgia patients and 27 control people. And while this is small PET scan studies generally are. And this will need more research to explore the information they have found in our brains.
I find this research promising. To find inflammation in the brain means there is a cause to that. And could lead to new and interesting treatments. It reminds me of a treatment suggested a while back that included a strong NSAID with something else that doesn’t come to mind at the moment. Anyway, this is neuro-inflammation so the rules are not the same. I do like that research validates there is something Wrong. And the more research that shows how we are different neurologically the better chances at more effective management and treatment in the future.