Tag Archives: Fibromyalgia

Lyrica Study Uncovers Brain Problems in Fibromyalgia

The Lyrica Effect: Lyrica Study Uncovers Key Brain Abnormalities in Fibromyalgia – Health Rising by Cort Johnson | Sep 30, 2013

Lyrica’s success – despite issues with side effects and efficacy in a significant number of fibromyalgia patients – highlights the tremendous need for drugs that relieve neuropathic pain.  

Fifteen years in development, Lyrica was originally developed to reduce seizures by increasing GABA levels, but was later found to reduce glutamate, substance P and norepinephrine levels instead.

Researchers know the pharmacological effects Lyrica has, but they don’t know what parts of the brain it’s affecting.   Continue reading

Pain and Distress Circuit in Fibromyalgia Identified

Connections: the Pain and Distress Circuit in Fibromyalgia Identified – Health Rising – by Cort Johnson | Feb 6, 2015

This article points out the further consequences of pain in Fibromyalgia patients, which are different than in normal people.

Fibromyalgia (FM), of course, is much more than about pain.  

Called the “prototypical functional pain syndrome,” people with fibromyalgia often experience problems thinking (fibro-fog), sleep and autonomic nervous system problems, depression and catastrophizing.  

The multidimensional aspects of fibromyalgia suggest that more than one part of the brain must be  involved.   Continue reading

Response to Pregabalin with Antidepressants

Response to Pregabalin for Fibromyalgia-Related Pain in Patients Taking Antidepressants – Tori Rodriguez, MA, LPC– June 09, 2017

In a post hoc analysis of a pregabalin trial, researchers identified characteristics associated with pain improvement in patients with fibromyalgia who take antidepressant medications. Their findings were reported in Pain Medicine.

Alhough there is currently no gold-standard therapy for the treatment of fibromyalgia, a number of medications have shown modest efficacy in managing fibromyalgia-related pain, including

  • pregabalin,
  • duloxetine,
  • milnacipran, and
  • amitriptyline.2

However, these “do not necessarily provide a clinically meaningful improvement in FM-related pain for every patient,  Continue reading

Fascia: A Hidden Piece of Fibromyalgia Pain

Fascia: A Hidden Piece of the Puzzle of Fibromyalgia Pain – Fibro News Daily | April 25, 2017 | By Ginevra Liptan, MD

Many studies have shown that the fibromyalgia nervous system has become sensitized and therefore has overactive responses resulting in pain.

This is the target of the three FDA approved medications for this illness, and these medications can indeed be helpful—usually resulting in about 30 percent reduction of pain.

In my experience, both as someone with the illness personally and as a physician treating fibromyalgia, utilizing these medications alone is inadequate.  Continue reading

“Bad Energy” is Core Problem in Fibromyalgia and CFS

Study Suggests “Bad Energy” is Core Problem in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) – Health Rising – by Cort Johnson | May 31, 2017

Lactate has become a big deal in both chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM).  A by-product of anaerobic energy metabolism, lactate ordinarily gets pumped out of our cells in large amounts during exertion.

The lactate findings suggest that the energy needs of ME/CFS/FM patients are largely being addressed by glycolysis or anaerobic energy production.

Anaerobic energy production plays an important role in energy production, but when aerobic energy production is not available and it becomes the major source of energy it produces metabolites that produce the burning muscles, fatigue and other symptoms we associate with over-exercise.  Continue reading

New Tx Target for Fibro: Brain Inflammation

Study Reveals New Treatment Target for Fibromyalgia: Inflammation in the Brain – National Pain Report – April 11, 2017 – By Ginevra Liptan, MD

Scientists have long suspected that inflammation in the brain (neuroinflammation) could be the cause of the amplification of pain signals in the brain seen in fibromyalgia.

They can show this to be the case in lab animals, but this theory has been hard to prove in humans—mostly because researchers can’t very easily biopsy brain tissue of living people!

However, some very creative Swedish scientists figured out a different way assess levels of inflammation in the brain, by sampling the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Continue reading

Problems with Pain Processing in Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia and the Brain: New Clues Reveal How Pain and Therapies are Processed – 7-Nov-2012

Though this study is 5 years old, there hasn’t been much follow-up on what was discovered: “Some individuals with fibromyalgia may have a down-regulation or decrease in opioid receptor activity that may exaggerate pain sensitivity”

Previous studies indicate that fibromyalgia patients have increased sensitivity to temperature, touch, and pressure.

Moreover, some of Dr. Harris’s previous work demonstrated that people with fibromyalgia produce an increased amount of endogenous opioid peptides (also known as endorphins that naturally relieve pain) that act on the brain’s μ-opioid receptors to “naturally” reduce pain.   Continue reading

Could Fibromyalgia Be A Low-Endorphin Disease?

Could Fibromyalgia Be A Low-Endorphin Disease? – Health Rising – by Cort Johnson | Nov 7, 2016

Exercise studies indicate that exercise is generally helpful for people with fibromyalgia but that’s not the end of the story.

Most FM exercise studies focus on either mild or short duration exercise protocols.  Sustained, high-intensity exercise, on the other hand, is often poorly tolerated. A recent study may suggest why that might be so.

The Study: The acute effect of maximal exercise on plasma beta-endorphin levels in fibromyalgia patients. Korean Journal of Pain, 2016. Ali Bidari, Banafsheh Ghavidel-Parsa, […], and Mehrangiz Toutounchi. Oct 29 (4): 249-54 Continue reading

Is Fibromyalgia Seen as a Psychosocial Disease?

The Psychosocial Disease? – Has Fibromyalgia Been Captured by a Mind/Body Paradigm? by Cort Johnson | Sep 30, 2016

The very nature of fibromyalgia, like chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), has left it prone to psychological interpretations.  No injury or lesion has ever been found. No accepted blood test points to a biological problem.

The disease produces lots of symptoms – a sure sign to some of a psychological problem – and it mainly effects women – who historically have had problems being believed by the medical profession. Plus, mood disorders such as depression and anxiety appear to be fairly common.   Continue reading

Why Fibromyalgia Patients Can’t Regulate Their Pain

Why Fibromyalgia Patients Can’t Regulate Their Pain | University of Michigan

By triggering its opioid receptors, the brain is naturally hardwired to shut down or dampen physical discomfort.

But for those with pain from chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, a continued reliance on that process can be overtaxing — and ultimately ineffective.

“It’s sort of like trying to run a marathon … for months and years,” says Daniel Harper, Ph.D.

This is an apt description of pain. A sensation easily tolerated for a few moments can become excruciating over months and years.   Continue reading