| autoimmune diseases

Fibromyalgia: An Autoimmune Disorder?

Potentials for Better Treatment

Fibromyalgia—which worldwide affects anywhere from 1 in 40 to 1 in 20 people, mostly women—has long been poorly understood. The disorder causes chronic muscle pain, tenderness, fatigue, and sleep disturbances, but how and why, and where does the pain originate? In a new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the blood of people with fibromyalgia was injected into mice, who then had increased sensitivities to pain. The study reports that “key features of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) can be induced in mice by IgG from individuals with FMS. Transfer of hypersensitivities from patients to mice was reproducible across all tested FMS subjects, strongly suggesting that antibody-dependent processes typically underpin the characteristic tenderness and thermal hypersensitivities experienced by patients.”

Study lead Dr. David Andersson, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, commented, “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. Our work has uncovered a whole new area of therapeutic options and should give real hope to fibromyalgia patients.”

 

Read the journal article.

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