Inflammation of the brain First seen in fibromyalgia

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Inflammation of the brain First seen in fibromyalgia

Researchers first reported finding inflammation in the brains of fibromyalgic patients.

Daniel S. Albrecht, a postdoctoral fellow with the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and collaborators, joined a research team led by Anton Forsberg, PhD, Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, to expand the study’s generalizability and enhance the statistical power.

Researchers write that although there has been mounting proof that brain inflammation plays some part in fibromyalgia, this study is the first in the badly understood and difficult-to-treat chronic condition to demonstrate direct proof of brain glial activation.

The findings were published online on 14 September in Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

Study coauthor Marco Loggia, PhD, of the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, describes in a news release, “The activation of glial cells that we found in our research releases inflammatory mediators that are believed to sensitize pain pathways and lead to symptoms such as fatigue.”

The proof can open the door to fresh medicines and provide psychological comfort to those who are told about their diseases.

“We don’t have excellent therapy choices for fibromyalgia, so identifying a prospective therapy target could lead to the growth of innovative, more efficient therapies. Finding objective neurochemical modifications in the brains of patients with fibromyalgia should assist decrease the constant stigma that many patients encounter, often telling their symptoms are imaginary and there’s nothing really wr.

A group of 31 patients (29 women, average age 50.7 ± 11 years old) who met the American College of Rheumatology definition for fibromyalgia diagnosis and 27 healthy controls (25 women, average age 49.4 ± 11 years old) received hybrid magnetic resonance / positron emission tomography (MR / PET) brain scan. The study excluded fibromyalgia patients if they had any other pain than fibromyalgia.

In patients with fibromyalgia compared to healthy controls, scientists discovered greater concentrations of the glial marker TSPO, a translocator protein, in several areas of the brain. They also found that the degree of glial activation was related to the degree of fatigue reported by the patients.

“Overall, as a prospective therapeutic approach, our information supports glial modulation,” the writers write. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fibromyalgia impacts approximately 4 million US adults

The study was supported by the International Association for the Study of Pain, the Martinos Center Pilot Grant for Postdoctoral Fellowships and the Harvard Catalyst Advance Imaging Pilot. The Swedish part of the study was funded by the Stockholm County Council, the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Rheumatism Association and Fibromyalgiförbundet. The study was also financed by the Seventh Framework Program of the European Union and a donation from the Lundblad family. The authors have not disclosed any relevant financial relationships.

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