Article: Possible Culprit of Fibromyalgia Found: Microglial Activation [Technology Networks]

“A study by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers – collaborating with a team at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden – has documented for the first time widespread inflammation in the brains of patients with the poorly understood condition called fibromyalgia. Their report has been published online in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

“We don’t have good treatment options for fibromyalgia, so identifying a potential treatment target could lead to the development of innovative, more effective therapies,” says Marco Loggia, PhD, of the MGH-based Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, co-senior author of the report.

“And finding objective neurochemical changes in the brains of patients with fibromyalgia should help reduce the persistent stigma that many patients face, often being told their symptoms are imaginary and there’s nothing really wrong with them.”

“Characterized by symptoms including chronic widespread pain, sleep problems, fatigue, and problems with thinking and memory, fibromyalgia affects around 4 million adults in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Previous research from the Karolinska group led by Eva Kosek, MD, PhD, co-senior author of the current study, suggested a potential role for neuroinflammation in the condition – including elevated levels of inflammatory proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid – but no previous study has directly visualized neuroinflammation in fibromyalgia patients.”

Read the rest of the article Technology News republished from Boston General Hospital: Possible Culprit of Fibromyalgia Found: Microglial Activation

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Article: Microglia Transmit Pain to the Brain During Stress [Medical Xpress]

From For many years the function of microglia was unclear. However, today it is known that these cells mediate immune responses in the central nervous system by acting as macrophages, clearing cellular debris and dead neurons from nervous tissue through the process of phagocytosis (cell eating). []

“John Sheridan and colleagues identified an inflammatory environment in the spinal cord caused by repeated exposure to an aggressive mouse—an established model of psychosocial stress—that accompanied lower pain thresholds observed in the stressed mice.

“Stress increased expression of inflammatory genes and activation of microglia in spinal cord regions involved in pain processing. Eliminating microglia from the spinal cord prevented these effects.

“These findings suggest a new cellular target for alleviating stress-induced pain.”

You can read this summary by Society for Neuroscience on Medical Xpress: Microglia Transmit Pain to the Brain During Stress

Their citation: Microglia Promote Increased Pain Behavior through Enhanced Inflammation in the Spinal Cord During Repeated Social Defeat Stress, JNeurosci (2018). DOI: … EUROSCI.2785-18.2018

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