A new study conducted by researchers at King’s College London, in collaboration with the Karolinksa Institute and the University of Liverpool, has found that fibromyalgia syndrome is an illness caused by the immune system. The researchers discovered that most symptoms of this syndrome were caused by antibodies that increased pain-sensing nerve activity in the body.
Estimates show that one in every 40 individuals is affected by fibromyalgia syndrome globally, with figures showing that of this number, roughly 80% are female. The disease is commonly characterized by emotional distress, fatigue and widespread pain throughout an individual’s body. While children can also develop the illness, it typically develops between age 25 and 55.
The research, which was published in the “Journal of Clinical Investigation,” shows that decreased movement, muscle weakness, increased pain sensitivity and a lower number of small nerve fibers in the skin are all caused by a patient’s antibodies.
For their research, investigators injected mouse models with antibodies obtained from individuals living with fibromyalgia syndrome and observed that the mice displayed decreased movement and grip strength and developed higher sensitivity to cold and pressure. Contrastingly, mice injected with antibodies obtained from healthy individuals remained unaffected, which showed that patients’ antibodies were a major contributor of the illness. This was supported by evidence showing that after the antibodies cleared from their systems, the mice that had been injected with antibodies from patients recovered.
These findings suggest that treatments which decrease antibody levels in patients may be effective therapies. These treatments are already available and are currently being used to treat disorders caused by auto-antibodies.
The primary investigator of the study, Dr. David Anderson from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College, stated that the study’s implications were huge and would be useful in the development of more effective treatments for the millions living with fibromyalgia syndrome. Anderson then explained that current treatments for fibromyalgia were focused on the psychological and drug treatments developed to manage pain as well as aerobic exercises, which had proven to be ineffective in the majority of the patients.
The research’s primary investigator from the Karolinska Institute, Prof. Camilla Svensson, added that in the study, they obtained antibodies from individuals living in Sweden and the United Kingdom. Svensson explained that these antibodies gave similar results, which added strength to the study’s findings, and he indicated that the next step in their research would be to find out what factors the antibodies that induced symptoms bound themselves to.
As such studies are being conducted, companies such as Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) are also focused on developing new medicines aimed at giving fibromyalgia patients better clinical outcomes.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/TRYPF
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