Research teams find widespread inflammation in the brains of fibromyalgia patients


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PET imaging studies reveal elevated glial activation, correlation with fatigue levels

The results from both centers found that glial activation in several regions of the brains of fibromyalgia patients was significantly greater than it was in control participants. Compared to the MGH team's chronic back pain study, TSPO elevations were more widespread throughout the brain, which Loggia indicates corresponds to the more complex symptom patterns of fibromyalgia. TSPO levels in a structure called the cingulate gyrus -- an area associated with emotional processing where neuroinflammation has been reported in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome -- corresponded with patients reported levels of fatigue. The Karolinska team's studies with the astrocyte-binding tracer found little difference between patients and controls, suggesting that microglia were primarily responsible for the increased neuro-inflammation in fibromyalgia patients.


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Microglia account for 10-15% of all brain cells. They are quite small though.

(Their production of nitric oxide responds to the level of manganese, eg Filipov, Seegal et al 2004)
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Here is a similar article on ME:

Invasion: The Source Of The Neuroinflammation In Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Younger hypothesizes that T and B-cell infiltration play a key role in both MS and ME/CFS
By Cort Johnson • • October 1, 2018

If T and B-cells can cause so much damage, why would they ever show up in the brain? Younger reported it’s possible that the microglia are actually asking them in. Ordinarily, this would only happen in the most extreme of circumstances – if the brain is in danger from an infection or a tumor which the microglia can’t handle. In that situation, calling in these A A A carpet bombers may be the only way to save the brain.

Another possibility is that hypersensitized microglia are opening the door for the T and B cells. A strong immune insult, a series of illnesses, a massive infection like Lyme disease, exposure to environmental toxins (diesel can do it), even obesity through its production of leptin, can lead to hypersensitized microglia and a traumatized, sensitized immune response in the brain. With the microglia responding to every little stressor, they simply go into overwhelm and call the big guns in. This may be the most likely model for chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).
If Younger can show that ME/CFS patients’ brains have been invaded by immune cells from the body he’ll have evidence that ME/CFS is an immune disease which attacks the central nervous system. His heat map /spectroscopy study already suggests that ME/CFS is an encephalomyelitis – an inflammatory brain condition with metabolic issues. The PET scan study showing how the inflammation is occurring is the next step.

This one-two punch – showing that neuroinflammation and the immune cells that may be causing it are present in the brain -would clearly make it much harder not to take this condition seriously. These are the same general processes, after all, that are occurring in some of our most devastating neurodegenerative diseases.