Fibromyalgia is caused by a malfunction of the nerve endings known as A-delta fibers, according to a Korean study. It was previously assumed that these fibers were not related to the disease. The discovery brings us closer to understanding the origins of fibromyalgia, a disease that remains a mystery.
Consider that a person’s life cannot end with suffering alone. However, when pain triggers feelings of hopelessness, dejection, or a persistent sense of physiological stress, it can have a significant impact on people’s lives.
This is the case with fibromyalgia, a disease about which little is known. This enigma is linked, among other things, to the difficulties of the disease in diagnosing and treating it.
Many chronic pain disorders do not appear to be related to any type of nerve damage. They can be the result of the amplification of pain impulses in the brain. Fibromyalgia is a type of condition that causes chronic pain spread throughout the body. Although the exact mechanism of pain is uncertain, it is believed to be caused by persistent inputs that produce brain sensitization.
Based on the above, a study group from Korea University looked at “skin quiet time” (a spinal reflex that allows the nervous system to evaluate pain management) to better understand pain processing in both the nervous system. than in the nervous one. peripheral. They pretended to understand the details of this difficult medical situation in this way.
According to the study, patients with fibromyalgia and people without fibromyalgia experienced several periods of skin calm.
The results revealed that in individuals with fibromyalgia, the average duration of this time was considerably longer, indicating that the duration of cutaneous silence could represent a failure of supraspinal control (developed by the spinal neurons that are responsible for integrating information from the system nervous) . ).
What is fibromyalgia and how does it affect you?
Although the first research on fibromyalgia was conducted in the 17th century, the condition was not recognized by the World Health Organization until 1992.
Doctors, on the other hand, continue to classify it as a psychiatric condition in many cases. This shows that it is a dangerous disease about which there is still a lot of mystery.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that affects the physical activity, mental health, and quality of life of people with it, as well as their families. Chronic muscle discomfort, fatigue, sadness, and acute hypersensitivity to touch are all symptoms.
This disease is disconcerting. Most of its symptoms and indicators are similar to those of other diseases. Not only that, but in addition to its cause, various genetic and epigenetic variables play a role, causing changes in the pain management of our nervous system. All of this makes both diagnosis and treatment difficult.
The fact that this disease primarily affects the muscles has led us to believe that this is where it focuses. As a result, non-neurological processes have been linked to fibromyalgia. It is so common that it is now classified as one of the rheumatic ailments.
There was a change in the neurological system.
Patients with this condition have reduced pain tolerance, based on research to date. They also show a neurochemical change in the spinal cord as well as parts of the brain associated with pain management (control and integration).
The study team, led by Byung-Jo Kim of Korea University Medical Center’s neurology department, began by assuming that central sensitization was the primary pain-processing mechanism in fibromyalgia.
With this in mind, they came to the unequivocal conclusion that the pain these patients experience is caused by a failure to process nerve signals in the spinal cord. In fact, as we will learn later, the fibers that cause this deadly disease are found in these areas of the nervous system.
Researchers arrived at these results after studying skin quiescence time in individuals diagnosed based on their examination and medical history, as well as criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology. What or who, on the other hand, mediates this moment of silence? Let’s take a look at how it works.
A-delta fibers are a type of fiber found in the human body.
The cutaneous silence period is a protective inhibitory spinal response that is mediated by the A-delta skin fibers. In both the central and peripheral nervous systems, these neurons evaluate and regulate pain processing.
Nerve endings can be found in a variety of physiological tissues, including muscles, joints and skin, and respond to potentially damaging and painful stimuli. How do they manage to achieve it? receivers are used.
The perceived inputs are converted into electrical energy, which is then interpreted by the nervous system and sent to the cerebral cortex, or brain. A-delta fibers, in particular, are those that react to mechanical and thermal stimuli at a reasonably high speed.
The results of this study group differ from previous studies that used the same method. The authors of these other investigations concluded that A-delta fibers were irrelevant to the study of the root causes of fibromyalgia. However, after seeing that all the people with the disease investigated had malfunctions in these fibers, Kim’s team asked: “Why not?”
Challenges in Fibromyalgia Research
To be sure, science rarely proceeds at a linear pace. In fact, solutions to the same problem are often developed from many viewpoints or methods. In this sense, and sometimes, researchers face challenges and go against the prevailing trend of their scientific discipline.
This is demonstrated in the work in progress. Working against the grain was a huge task for the studio team. This could indicate that the money, time, effort and other resources committed did not lead to the generation of new data and therefore no progress was made.
These concepts are what make tasks like this so fascinating. Not so much because of the abundance of data presented, but because they offer new avenues for future research. Although many scientists thought the A-delta fibers were not involved, they tested at least twenty times in each patient to see if they were altered. They really were.
Other scientists, however, weren’t very interested in the skin latency period. As a result, this group decided to take another risk and focus on him. Consequently, Kim’s group believes this phenomenon could be an indication that more research should be done. We can now determine the primary etiology of fibromyalgia.
Kim and her colleagues recognize that the project should be expanded to include more patients. However, they point out that the findings open up new lines of investigation that could lead to data critical to understanding this mysterious disease.