Navigation Links
Fibromyalgia Is Not All In Your Head, New Research Confirms

RENSSELAER, N.Y., June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Fibromyalgia, a painful condition affecting approximately 10 million people in the U.S., is not imaginary after all, as some doctors have believed.  A discovery, published this month in PAIN MEDICINE (the journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine) at, shows that fibromyalgia may have a rational biological basis located in the skin.

(Photo: )

Characterized by subjective complaints of widespread deep tissue pain, tenderness in the hands and feet, fatigue, sleep disorders, and cognitive decline, the disorder was widely considered as psychosomatic ("imagined in the head"). Imaging techniques have recently revealed increased brain activity in pain centers, but the source for this hyperactivity activity is unknown.

Now, a breakthrough discovery by scientists at Integrated Tissue Dynamics LLC (Intidyn) has provided a biological rationale for this enigmatic disease. The company, founded by neuroscientists Dr. Frank L. Rice and Dr. Phillip J. Albrecht, utilized a unique multi-molecular ChemoMorphometric Analysis (CMA) to evaluate nerve fibers within small skin biopsies. The study was limited to women who are more than twice as likely to be afflicted by fibromyalgia as men.

"We detected extremely excessive sensory nerve fibers around blood vessels in the palms of the hands," said Dr. Rice. "This discovery provides concrete evidence of a fibromyalgia-specific pathology that is clearly outside of the brain.  This could be used to facilitate the diagnosis of the disease and provide a new target for the development of truly effective therapeutics."

Performed in collaboration with Albany Medical Center neurologists Dr. Charles E. Argoff and Dr. James Wymer and Dr. James Storey of Upstate Clinical Research Associates (Albany, NY), the study was funded by Forest Laboratories and Eli Lilly.  Both pharmaceutical companies have developed FDA-approved medications with similar functions (Serotonin/Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors, SNRI) that provide at least some degree of relief for many fibromyalgia patients.

"Knowing how these drugs were supposed to work on molecules in the brain," Dr. Albrecht added, "we had evidence that similar molecules were involved in the function of nerve endings on the blood vessels. Therefore, we hypothesized that fibromyalgia might involve a pathology in that location." As the results demonstrate, they were correct.

A Thermostat for the Skin

Importantly, the excessive nerve fibers were concentrated around tiny muscular valves, called arteriole-venule (AV) shunts (see diagram).  In humans, these shunts are found in the palms of our hands and soles of our feet and work like the radiator in a car. In warm conditions, the shunts close, which forces blood into the capillaries at the skin surface to radiate heat from the body. Under cold conditions, the shunts open allowing blood to bypass the capillaries to conserve heat, which is why our hands get cold.

According to Dr. Albrecht, "the excess sensory innervation may explain why fibromyalgia patients typically have especially tender and painful hands."

Noting that blood flow to the hands is normally known to be diverted to muscles during exercise, Dr. Rice proposes that "That mismanaged blood flow due to malfunctioning shunts could also interfere with blood flow to the muscles throughout the body. This could be the source of wide spread muscular pain, achiness and fatigue which are thought to be due to a build-up of lactic acid and low levels of inflammation fibromyalgia patients. This, in turn, could contribute to the hyperactivity in the brain."

A description of this study for the general public can be found at:

CONTACT: Frank L. Rice, PhD
866-610-7581, ext. 102


SOURCE Intidyn
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Synthetic Biologics Reports that Flupirtine Sublicensee, Meda AB, to Initiate Phase II Fibromyalgia Clinical Trial in U.S.
2. Soterix Medical Inc. reports positive results from High-Definition tDCS Fibromyalgia Trial at Harvard Medical School
3. WAISMANN METHOD® Medical Director Voices Support for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day
4. With Busy Summer Forecast Ahead, More Hotels Are Raising Hygiene Standards, Says UMF Corporation
5. BioCision Announces Two New U.S. Patents for Thermo-Conductive Products that Standardize Sample Handling in Laboratory Research
6. New BD Biosciences Flow Cytometry Cell Analyzer Enables Complex Multicolor Experiments in Disease Research
7. Industry Shows a Healthy Pulse with Priority Reviews, Positive Results, New Testing Procedures, and Partnerships - Research Report on Gilead, Health Management, IDEXX, ISIS, and Trius Therapeutics
8. Southern Research Institute Names Arthur J. Tipton, Ph.D. President and CEO
9. University Researchers Use Biozoom Scanner To Investigate Relationship Between Stress And Work
10. Pancreatic Cancer Advocates Call on Congress to Protect Medical Research Funding From Sequestration Cuts
11. Ongoing Clinical Trials Reveal Groundbreaking Results - Research Report on Alexion, BioMarin, Onyx, Questcor, and ImmunoGen
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... 52" report to their offering. ... creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. The ... that will serve to drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza ... to cap sales considerably, but development is still in its ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma ... as the company,s second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... Astellas Farma Colombia ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... "Surgical Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, ... Canada)" report to their offering. ... essential tool for healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure ... at surgery trends with an in-depth analysis of growth ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... recently awarded their highest five-star rating ... Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to ... correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws ... a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula ... , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to ... Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to ... fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors ... Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green ... hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June ... with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking ... common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):