Fibromyalgia: a general inflammation

An important step has been taken in understanding the mechanisms involved in fibromyalgia, particularly concerning the inflammatory process.

It has already been suggested that chronic inflammation probably plays a central role in fibromyalgia, says the Swedish team (universities Uppsala and Linköping). However, previous studies have focused on a few characteristic molecules of inflammation called cytokines. Here, researchers have simultaneously searched for  a hundred proteins  associated with the inflammatory process, and this in blood samples and cerebrospinal fluid (in which bathe the brain and spinal cord). They performed these tests on patients with fibromyalgia and on people who did not have the disease.

The result  highlights “strong” evidence  of a dual phenomenon in fibromyalgia: neuro-inflammatory (cerebrospinal fluid) and chronic systemic inflammatory (blood). In other words,  the inflammation is generalized . Two cytokines stand out: fractalkine and interleukin-8 (IL-8). What is important to note is the comment of the specialists:  “This is the first time that such an extensive inflammatory profile is described for fibromyalgia, which seems to be characterized by objective biochemical alterations” . This amounts to saying that  “the description of its mechanisms as essentially idiopathic (without known cause) or even psychological must be considered out of date”And they add that further exploration of inflammatory processes should help identify avenues for   much better targeted and more effectivetreatments .

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