Fibromyalgia is still a poorly understood disorder..but fear not, the push is on to learn more about it so it can be better managed and treated. Ask anyone who has this disorder--it's certainly no walk in the park, and the need for remediation is obvious.
|Microglia (green) and neurons in a rat brain culture|
One of the more recent discoveries in this effort is the existence of microglia. Unique to the central nervous system, these tiny cells travel about to areas of injury or infection. Once there, they send out an SOS to other parts of the immune system. Microglia also attempt to begin the healing process. Inflammation is part of this process. While this is a normal part of the healing process, chronic inflammation is problematic.
It's thought that microglial activation is part of the problem experienced by patients with fibromyalgia...perhaps with respect to brain fog and issues with hyperalgesia (pain amplification) and mechanical allodynia (pain experience from something that doesn't usually cause pain, such as brushing hair or a shirt tag rubbing against the skin).
Better understanding of microglia and their role in fibromyalgia will lead to better forms of treatment...or so it is thought. You can read further about this interesting topic by clicking here.
Sources: Wikimedia; about.com