Fibromyalgia Neuroinflammation Study Possibly Highlights Key Factor in Chronic Pain

Neuro and Otherwise Inflammation has become an increasingly important topic in fibromyalgia.

It’s clear that “central sensitization” – an increase in pain sensitivity engineered by the central nervous system – is present in fibromyalgia (and other chronic pain disorders). That central sensitization could be caused by an inflammatory process which produces pro-inflammatory nerve factors that send the pain-producing nerves into a tizzy. Neuroinflammation then is a major possibility in FM, but measuring it hasn’t been easy. Only recently have brain imaging techniques been developed that might be able to measure the neuroinflammation that’s present in FM. This study tried to get at the question of neuroinflammation in a different way. Most studies restrict themselves to either the brain or the body, but this Swedish and Norwegian study did two things that were unusual. Instead of looking for a few cytokines or chemokines, it assessed the abundance of a very large (n=92) number of inflammation-related proteins, and it did so in both the spinal fluid and the blood. Given how difficult it is to get spinal fluid, the study was a pretty large one involving 40 […]