Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain LIFE Mar/Apr 2013, Issue 8 - Page 14

Neuroimmunology: HUMAN IMMUNOLOGY the connection between & NEUROLOGICAL SYSTEMS In this edition of Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain LIFE you will read an announcement by researcher Bruce S. Gillis, MD, regarding his paradigm shifting study published in BMC Clinical Pathology on December 17, 2012 1. This study describes a diagnostic fibromyalgia blood test that reveals cytokine abnormalities in fibromyalgia patients compared to healthy controls. It expands the theory that significant immune-dysfunction is part of fibromyalgia pathogenesis. In the study researchers used multiple methods to examine cytokine (proteins that help regulate the body’s immune response) levels in people with fibromyalgia. Their findings demonstrated that the fibromyalgia group had considerably lower cytokine concentration than the control group, which implies that cell-mediated immunity is impaired in fibromyalgia. Interestingly, this published study demonstrates an immunology response in people with fibromyalgia which strays from the last decade of science that has pointed to abnormalities in the central nervous system. (study of origin) function has stimulated the development of new pharmacological treatments for several neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis. Neural targets that control thermogenics (body temperature), behavior, sleep and mood can be affected by proinflammatory cytokines (small cell-signaling molecules) which are released by activated macrophages and monocytes during infection. The production of cytokines in the central nervous system has been detected as a result of brain injury, during viral and bacterial infections, and in neurodegenerative processes. Linda Watkins, PhD, from the University of Colorado at Boulder is a research scientist who has devoted most of her career to the area of neuroimmunology. Her research theories surround the idea that the immune regulation of the central nervous system links the sickness response to pathological pain 2. If you take a minute to think about it, that theory is exactly what sets fibromyalgia apart from other chronic pain disorders such as low back pain, neck pain, tendonitis, and Neuroimmunology, a relatively new area of science may hold some interesting answers that might illuminate these disparities. Neuroimmunology is the field of science that combines the study of the nervous system (both central and autonomic) and the immune system. This research area seeks to better understand the interaction of these two complex systems during development, homeostasis, and response to injuries. A goal of this new area of science is to further develop the understanding of the pathology of several neurological diseases, some of which have no clear cause. The study of the interactions of both the immune and nervous systems, including the physiological 14  Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Life Mar/Apr 2013