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I’m a married 31 year-old who has been diagnosed with fibromylagia for 12 years. I am on a quest to raise awareness and help others by sharing information and staying positive. Read more
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Felicia Fibro - Life with fibromyalgia, EMPOWERED!

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Important Pain Discovery

One of the biggest hurdles with chronic pain is that our bodies store memories of previous pain, which make us hyper-sensitive to future sensations, like pain. One extreme example of this is phantom-limb pain – where a person feels current pain in a limb that has previously been amputated as if it had never been removed.

Recently, a group of researchers found a substance, Protein kinase M zeta (PKM-zeta), that plays a key role in the creation and storing of pain memories by strengthening neural connections. This is a huge deal, because scientists think that by blocking PKM-zeta they can stop and even reverse those pain memories! It was successful in lab mice, but has not be tested in human clinical trials, yet.

This research is so exciting to me that it makes me tear up! Understanding the way chronic pain works is one area that I’ve waited years to hear that we understand it better. I’ve always felt like these types of breakthroughs have to happen before new and better treatments can be found. This is a huge step towards that and I’m anxious to hear results of further research. This could likely produce a completely new type of pain medication.

Another reason this research excites me is that they found PKM-zeta was important for sensitization of Central Nervous System (CNS) neurons in the spinal cord. As you probably know, the pain in fibromyalgia is suspected to be caused by abnormal pain sensory issues in the CNS. I feel like this new finding further supports what scientists already suspected.

What are your thoughts?


The less pain, the better!*

*Image Credit: from by ecmorgan


Comment from Emma
Time March 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm

That’s really interesting to hear. I was diagnosed with fibro last year but had been in pain for a number of years following a car crash. I am currently having blood tests which show I have a high level of creatin kinase or protein- I wonder whether this is related to the pain signals you discuss? I think fibro is really misunderstood and it would be great for more research to be done in the area of chronic pain.


Comment from Terry
Time March 31, 2012 at 5:00 am

That is very interesting. If they can determine a means of blocking the pain memory feedback or preventing pain memory formation I could certainly see that leading to a viable new pain medication that functions in an entirely different way. Particularly if it did not also function to influence other aspects of brain chemical interaction.

I have a really great article on my site that digs into the research studies relative to brain chemical abnormalities in fibro. There is no question that fibromyalgia patients suffer from imbalances in neurotransmitters – it is a physiologic condition – and that these chemical imbalances play a key role in how fibromyalgia is manifested.

Lots of interesting research. I would love to see a study done to combine further study on PKM-zeta and imbalances with substance P, NMDA and Glutamate.
Terry recently posted: Self-Management 101


Comment from Terry
Time March 31, 2012 at 5:03 am

????? I did not put that link to the blog post on my site into my comment…. and there is no apparent means to remove it. I gather Felicia does not want folks to post links to their own sites in comments, so just saying – I did not do it!!!

Now I see the little box with the check mark. Sorry missed it before, if there is a way to edit the prior comment and remove that please share how.


Felicia Fibro Reply:

Terry, that is untrue that I don’t want people posting pertinent links in their comments. As you saw, I have commentluv on my site. It is a plugin which helps post the latest posts a commentor has written on their own website. My automatic spam filter does sometimes block comment links written in the regular text field from showing, as links in comments are a common spam tactic. On the backend of my site I can remove commentluv links if I think it is pulling a spam site, but I rarely do that. Now that I’ve explained a little more about how my site handles links, would you still like me to remove your commentluv link for you? I’m unaware of that plug-in having a way to allow users to do that, after posting a comment.


jeannie Reply:

I just read the research today. It brought tears to my eyes, even though FMS does not affect me today like it did when I was first diagnosed. It does cause me to live with a struggle, from time to time. A cure for this disease, the disease of pain memory and pain regulation and transmission, will be cured. It is such a terrible disease. It is not a cancer. It is not heart attack. It is not a broken leg. It is nervous system disease and there is a cure. The cure is behind this research.


Comment from Terry
Time March 31, 2012 at 6:21 am

Ahhhhh thanks Felicia, that makes way more sense. I should have thought of that – that you have a plugin doing the filtering. Silly of me not to recognize that… I have the same same thing installed on my site but had sorta forgotten about it and did not put 2 and 2 together I guess. Sorry…

I had not read about the commentluv plugin – pretty cool, I will check that out.

No – leave the link if thats ok with you. I think its a good blog post. Take a look! Tell me what you think (please)

I will try to post the link to the article on brain chemical abnormalities, you might find it interesting. Would love to get your feedback on it regardless. I don’t know why really, but research info related to stuff like PKM-zeta and Substance P and how neurotransmitters function in the brain – I find it fascinating. I do not claim to totally understand how it all works (and I am not sure anyone does) but even a small amount of research makes it clear how incredibly complex brain functions are and how even slight imbalances in brain chemical processes can drive severe symptoms.

All the times naysayers may have said “Its all in your head” – turns out they are probably right. Brain processes centered on a correct balance of neurotransmitters are broken in people with fibro – it IS in your head!
Terry recently posted: Inspect What You Expect


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