Electroacupuncture can Ease Fibromyalgia-related Pain by Normalizing Specific Protein Levels in the Brain, Mouse Study Suggests

Electroacupuncture can Ease Fibromyalgia-related Pain by Normalizing Specific Protein Levels in the Brain, Mouse Study Suggests
Electroacupuncture can ease pain associated with fibromyalgia by normalizing the levels of two proteins — TRPV1 and pERK — in specific regions of the brain, according to a mouse study. These findings not only reinforce the increasing evidence supporting electroacupuncture’s benefits in alleviating chronic pain, but also shed light on potential underlying mechanisms. The study, “Electroacupuncture reduces fibromyalgia pain by downregulating the TRPV1–pERK signalling pathway in the mouse brain,” was published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine. Acupuncture is an ancient healing technique of traditional Chinese medicine that has been practiced in China for more than 3,000 years to treat a variety of disorders. It has also been studied by the World Health Organization as a method for pain relief. Acupuncture involves the strategic placement of thin sterile needles through a person’s skin at specific points in the body. In electroacupuncture, a small electrical charge is applied to the needles to stimulate these particular body points, which is thought to increase the technique’s effectiveness in treating pain. A previous review showed that acupuncture safely and effectively lessens chronic pain and improves the quality of life of people with fibromyalgia. While the molecular mechanisms underlying acupuncture’s therapeutic benefits remain largely unknown, evidence suggests that it involves changes in both the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. Of note, the peripheral nervous system comprises all the nerves found outside the central nervous system, while the central nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord. TRPV1 is a calcium channel present in nerve cells and is activated by several physical and ch
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