Does cytokine therapy have potential as a treatment for fibromyalgia?
Science: Pro-inflammatory cytokine excess has been documented in fibromyalgia, especially for IL-1, IL-6 and IL-8. These cytokines are known to affect or control prominent symptoms in fibromyalgia, including fatigue, sleep, pain, stress and aching.
Conclusion: Cytokine therapy not only has potential, but might be the ideal treatment for fibromyalgia.
It is hard to describe a possible cause for all of the diverse symptoms of fibromyalgia without making reference to cytokines, especially the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1, IL-6 and IL-8. Only pro-inflammatory cytokine excess offers a single, reasonable explanation for fatigue, sleep impairment, cognitive impairment (fibro-fog,) autonomic dysfunction (e.g.postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome – POTS,) depression, anxiety, and many other frequent but less common symptoms.
To the extent that fibromyalgia symptoms occur as the result of pro-inflammatory cytokine excess (which is substantial,) a therapy which potentially targets cytokine excess is likely to represent an ideal therapy.
Is there a role for cytokine based therapies in fibromyalgia.
Summary of the Abstract
Cytokines act as inter-cellular messengers, and are key regulators of the immune system.
Cytokines are known to control or affect fatigue, fever, sleep, pain, stress and aching.
There is mounting evidence that IL-1, IL-6 and IL-8 are elevated in fibromyalgia syndrome. Therefore therapies intended to normalize cytokine levels in fibromyalgia may be effective as treatments for fibromyalgia.