Researchers find the main source of pain in the blood vessels.
Researchers have found the main source of pain in patients with fibromyalgia, and contrary to what many believe, does not come from the brain. The results mark the end of a decades-old mystery about the disease, which many doctors believe was evoked in the patients’ imaginations. The mystery of fibromyalgia has left millions of patients in search of hope in pain medication. Until recently, many doctors thought the disease was “imaginary” or psychological, but scientists have now revealed that the main source of pain is due to an excess of more improbable blood vessels instead- in the hand, legs and feet .
The discovery could lead to new treatments and perhaps even a total cure in the future, bringing the relief of up to 5 million Americans believed to have the disease. To solve the mystery of fibromyalgia, the researchers focused on the skin of the hand of a patient who had a lack of sensory nerve fibers, causing a reduced reaction to pain. They then took skin samples from the hands of fibromyalgia patients and were surprised to find an extremely excessive amount of a particular type of nerve fiber shunts called arteriole-venule (AV).
Until now scientists had thought that these fibers were only responsible for regulating blood flow, and they do not play any role in the sensation of pain, but now they have discovered that there is a direct relationship between these nerves and generalized body pain that fibromyalgia sufferers feel.
The breakthrough could also solve the lingering question of why many sufferers have extremely painful hands and feet as well as other “tender spots” throughout the body, and why cold weather seems to aggravate the symptoms. In addition to feeling deep tissue pain generalized, many patients with fibromyalgia also suffer from debilitating fatigue.
Neuroscientist Dr. Frank L. Rice explained: “Previously we thought that these nerve endings were only involved in the regulation of blood flow at a subconscious level, however, here we had evidence that the endings of the blood vessels can also contribute to our conscious sense of touch and … also pain, “Rice said. “This poorly administered blood flow could be the source of muscle pain and muscle aches, and the feeling of fatigue that is thought to be due to an accumulation of lactic acid and the low levels of patients with fibromyalgia inflammation. This, in turn, could contribute to hyperactivity in the brain. ”
Current treatments for the disease have not brought complete relief to the millions of sufferers. Therapies include narcotic analgesics; anticonvulsants, antidepressants and tips, even simple ones like “sleep more and exercise regularly.” Now that the cause of fibromyalgia has been noted, patients are waiting for a definitive cure. Others expressed their frustration of how much they had already suffered:
“When are you ever going to realize that things are never all in your head?” Said one commentator. “Every time something does not fit their tiny little understanding, they dwarf the patient and tell them they’re crazy. People have suffered through this since they were invented. Prescribing SSRIs for everything, is not the answer other than a lobotomy or a hysterectomy. ”
The announcement has the potential to unlock better future treatments and undoubtedly has patients from all over the world rejoicing that the mystery of fibromyalgia has finally been solved.
Source: Yahoo News