Study Finds High Blood Levels of Cathepsin S, Cystatin C in Fibromyalgia Patients

Study Finds High Blood Levels of Cathepsin S, Cystatin C in Fibromyalgia Patients
People with fibromyalgia have higher blood levels of cathepsin S — an enzyme responsible for the destruction of damaged proteins and thought to play a role in nerve pain — and of its blocker cystatin C than healthy individuals, a study has found. These findings may provide further clues about the molecular mechanisms underlying the disorder, and serve as a guide for future clinical trials testing new therapies for fibromyalgia, researchers said. The study, “High levels of cathepsin S and cystatin C in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome,” was published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases. Although the causes of fibromyalgia are still not fully understood, some studies have suggested that abnormalities in the way the central nervous system (including the brain and spinal cord) processes and interprets pain signals may play a role in the onset of the disease. These abnormalities may be brought on by a phenomenon known as central sensitization, in which exposure to repeated painful stimuli leads to nerve cells being hypersensitive to these signals and results in episodes of severe pain. Some studies have suggested that cathepsin S, an enzyme with diverse cellular functions, might be involved in signaling pathways associated with neuropathic (nerve) pain. Because fibromyalgia is a disease characte
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