The Guardian and World Health recently wrote articles on new research about Fibromyalgia which may be caused by be an autoimmune response that increases the activity of pain-sensing nerves throughout the body.
The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, challenge the widely held view that the condition originates in the brain, and could pave the way for more effective treatments for the millions of people affected.
They could also have implications for patients suffering from myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and “long Covid”. “These different syndromes are symptomatically very similar, so I think it could be very relevant to both of these conditions,” said Dr David Andersson from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, who led the new study. Andersson and his colleagues harvested blood from 44 people with fibromyalgia and injected purified antibodies from each of them into different mice. The mice rapidly became more sensitive to pressure and cold, and displayed reduced grip strength in their paws. Animals injected with antibodies from healthy people were unaffected.
“Establishing that fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disorder will transform how we view the condition and should pave the way for more effective treatments for the millions of people affected,” Andersson said. “Our work has uncovered a whole new area of therapeutic options and should give real hope to fibromyalgia patients.
The World Health wrote that new research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, in collaboration with the University of Liverpool and the Karolinska Institute, has shown that many of the symptoms in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) are caused by antibodies that increase the activity of pain-sensing nerves throughout the body.
The results show that fibromyalgia is a disease of the immune system, rather than the currently held view that it originates in the brain.