Researchers Target Nervous System Activity To Reduce Chronic Pain in Patients With Fibromyalgia

Researchers Target Nervous System Activity To Reduce Chronic Pain in Patients With Fibromyalgia
In a recent study titled “Relationship between sympathetic activity and pain intensity in fibromyalgia,” a research team from the Department of Physical Therapy, Federal University of Sao Carlos, Sao Carlos in Brazil in collaboration with the BIOMETRA Department, Humanitas Clinical and Research Centre, Rozzano and the University of Milan in Italy, found that the use of anti-adrenergic drugs may help to reduce the levels of chronic pain in patients with fibromyalgia, by lessening the excessive activity in the sympathetic nervous system. The study is published online in the journal Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology. Key definitions: Baroreflex receptors are found in the large blood vessels in the heart. Increasing blood pressure causes the walls of the blood vessels to stretch baroceptors send signals to the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) in the brainstem. The NTS then sends a message to the smooth muscles lining the blood vessels telling them to relax, lowering blood pressure. MSNA refers to the activity of the small muscles in the walls of the blood vessels that control how large or narrow the blood vessels are. When the blood pressure drops, these muscles tighten up the blood vessels in order to keep driving blood to the tissues. Increased MSNA activity plays a role in the ability to stand without blood pooling in the legs. These muscles are controlled by the baroreflex response. Fibromyalgia (FM) is a condition that causes chronic musculoskeletal pain, hyperalgesia on specific areas of tenderness and is also known to cause dysfunction in the autonomic nervous system coherent with an over activity in the sympathetic nervous system. It remains unclear if there is an association between the amount of cardiovascular sympathetic activity and the
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