Fibromyalgia likely due to autoimmune attack

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From Geobel A et al Journal of Clinical Investigation 1 Jul 2021

Many of the symptoms in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) are caused by antibodies increasing the activity of pain sensing nerves throughout the body according to new research led by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London.

This is at odds of the currently held view that the condition arises centrally in the brain.

The researchers injected mice with antibodies of people who have FMS and saw that the mice rapidly developed increasing sensitivity to pressure and cold as well as reduced movement grip strength.

In contrast, mice who were injected with antibodies from healthy people were unaffected.

The injected mice recovered from their symptoms after a few weeks once they had cleared the antibodies from their systems. The researchers wonder if treatments that would reduced antibodies in patients with FMS could become an effective treatment.

Dr David Andersson, the lead investigator said, ” Treatment for FMS is currently focused on gentle aerobic exercise, and drug and psychological therapies designed to manage pain, although these have been proven to be ineffective in patients. There is an enormous unmet clinical need. Our work has uncovered a whole new area of possible therapeutic options and should give real hope to fibromyalgia patients”.

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