Inflammation in fibromyalgia – evidence suggests a role

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Is there an inflammatory process at work in fibromyalgia?

Science: Pro-inflammatory cytokine (PIC) levels were found to correlate with symptom severity in fibromyalgia.

Conclusion: PIC elevation suggests an inflammatory process and appears to be important in fibromyalgia because symptoms worsen as PIC levels increase.


Inflammation and fibromyalgia

Elevated cytokine levels were observed in fibromyalgia patients, suggesting inflammation. Furthermore, the extent to which these cytokines were elevated was found to correlate with symptom severity, indicating a likely cause and effect relationship between the cytokine levels (degree of inflammation) and the severity of fibromyalgia symptoms.

These findings strongly suggest that inflammation plays a critical role in the onset and progression of fibromyalgia. As such, relief from the symptoms of fibromyalgia might be achieved through a reduction in inflammation. Fairly obvious, relatively simple, but achieved with great difficulty. We simply don’t have good drugs for inflammation.

March, 2007

Cytokine patterns in fibromyalgia and their correlation with symptom severity

Summary of the abstract

OBJECTIVE: To explore a possible role for mediators of inflammation in the bloodstream of fibromyalgia patients.

RESULTS: Higher levels pro-inflammatory cytokines were identified in the blood of fibromyalgia patients vs. that of healthy controls. A strong correlation between these cytokine levels and clinical disease was observed.

CONCLUSION: High levels of cytokines in the blood of fibromyalgia patients suggest the presence of an inflammatory process.

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