Fibromyalgia is not all in your head, confirms new research.

Fibromyalgia has been a mysterious disease that causes pain throughout the body and deep in the tissues without apparent cause. A large part of the medical community believed that the disease was psychosomatic and people basically think that they are suffering. But a small biopharmaceutical company, Intidyn, or Integrated Tissue Dynamics, has found what they believe is the cause of the disease.


Researchers from the company and Albany Medical College have discovered that there is a unique neurovascular structure, or blood flow to the nerves, in the skin of patients who report pain from fibromyalgia. This, according to scientists, may be the main cause of the pain that is felt in the disease.

“Instead of being in the brain, the pathology consists of excessive sensory nerve fibers around the specialized structures of the blood vessels in the palms of the hands,” said Dr. Frank L. Rice, president of Intidyn and principal investigator. of the study, in a press release

The constriction of the blood vessels can be controlled by the nerves of the skin. Patients with fibromyalgia have an unusually high number of nerve endings that surround a bridge of blood vessels in the skin.

“This discovery provides concrete evidence of a specific pathology for fibromyalgia that can now be used to diagnose the disease and as a new starting point to develop more effective therapies.”

A few years ago, the company published an article in the journal    Pain    about a case involving a woman who was born without special nerve endings that at that time were considered important to play. But the woman was fine and could continue her life. She had nerve endings near the thin capillary blood vessels of her skin, which were previously thought to control the flow of blood to the blood vessels. “Previously we thought that these nerve endings were only involved in the regulation of blood flow at the subconscious level, but we had evidence that blood vessel terminations could also contribute to our sense of conscious touch … and also of pain.”

The currently targeted drugs, manufactured by Eli Lilly and Forest Labs, are serotonin / noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) that act on the brain. But they can also act on the nerve endings near the blood vessels of the skin. “Knowing how these drugs were supposed to act on molecules in the brain,” said Dr. Philip J. Albrecht, “we have evidence that similar molecules were involved in the function of nerve endings in blood vessels. Therefore, we hypothesized that fibromyalgia could imply a pathology in this location. “As the results show, they were correct.

The company’s research team examined skin samples from women with fibromyalgia collected by Albany Medical College and examined using special microscopy technology. What they saw was an amazing increase in the nerve endings at the site of the blood vessels in the skin. These sites control the flow of oxygenated blood between the small blood vessels of the skin. They can cause blockage of this area of ​​the platform to allow the skin to radiate heat or open it to keep the heat cold.

“Excessive sensory innervation may explain why patients with fibromyalgia usually have particularly sensitive and painful hands. But, in addition, since the sensory fibers are responsible for opening the shunts, they would become particularly active in the cold, which is generally very embarrassing for patients with fibromyalgia, “said Albrecht.

But these special derivations or bridges do much more than regulate the heat in the body; they could block the blood flow to the deep muscles of the tissue.
“In addition to regulating temperature, a large part of our blood flow normally goes to our hands and feet. Much more than is necessary for your metabolism, “said Dr. Rice. “As such, the hands and feet act as a reservoir from which the blood flow can be diverted to other tissues of the body, such as muscles when we begin to exercise. As a result, the pathology found between these shunts in the hands could interfere with the flow of blood to the muscles throughout the body. This poorly controlled blood flow could be the source of muscle aches and pains, and the feeling of fatigue that would be due to the accumulation of lactic acid and the low levels of inflammation in patients with fibromyalgia. This, in turn,

Finding a real physiological basis for the autoimmune disease of fibromyalgia will be a positive revelation for many who have been told that their pain is only in their head. Over time, researchers will be able to better analyze the causes of pain in the disease and develop drugs to treat the true cause of pain..

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