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Fibromyalgia Linked to Extensive Brain Inflammation

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

brain inflammation

Story at-a-glance -

  • Brain scans of fibromyalgia patients have offered hard evidence that the pain they experience is real; their threshold for tolerating pain impulses is substantially lower than that of most individuals
  • Recent research shows fibromyalgia patients tend to have severe inflammation in their body, including their nervous system and brain
  • The cannabinoid receptor that produces the “high” in response to THC in marijuana also helps regulate inflammatory reactions in your brain
  • The signal that instructs glial cells to stop their inflammatory activity is endocannabinoids, which work by binding to cannabinoid receptors on certain neurons
  • With age, your natural production of endocannabinoids decreases, which then leads to impaired immune response regulation and chronic inflammation

Fibromyalgia, characterized by chronic, widespread pain is an often-debilitating condition that primarily affects women. While as many as 10 million Americans have fibromyalgia, its cause remains a mystery.

Brain scans of fibromyalgia patients have offered hard evidence that the pain they experience is indeed real — mainly because their threshold for tolerating pain impulses is substantially lower than that of most individuals. But the mechanism causing this lowered pain threshold is still unknown.


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