Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Linked to Improved Health in Fibromyalgia Patients, Study Reports

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Linked to Improved Health in Fibromyalgia Patients, Study Reports
After undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy, fibromyalgia patients reported improvements in general health and pain scores, a small study shows. Moreover, the psychological therapy correlated with a significant reduction in the two most relevant pro-inflammatory cytokines in fibromyalgia, interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8. The study, “The effect of cognitive behavioral therapy on the circulating proinflammatory cytokines of fibromyalgia patients: A pilot controlled clinical trial,” was published in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry. While the mechanisms behind fibromyalgia are far from clear, studies suggest that psychological factors play a major role in the predisposition, onset, and perpetuation of the disease. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered one the main psychological treatments for fibromyalgia. The goal of the intervention is to change negative thought patterns and introduce modifications to patients' behavior to help them cope with the pain. However, the effectiveness of CBT has relied on patients' self-reporting, which is a subjective method. Given the increasing evidence of systemic (whole-body) inflammation in fibromyalgia, a group of Iranian researchers evaluated the effects of CBT on the levels of proinflammatory cytokines (signaling molecules) relevant in fibromyalgia, including IL-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the effect of CBT on the serum proinflammatory cytokines of FM patients,” the resea
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