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Archive for the ‘Treatment’ Category

Neurontin making a comeback? Kind of. GlaxoSmithKline is on the cusp of beginning a Phase III clinical trial of a “novel prodrug of gabapentin” (brand name: Neurontin) for the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome and related sleep disturbances. While not every Fibromyalgia sufferer experiences RLS, it’s a common component of the syndrome.

Neurontin was highly prescribed seven to 10 years ago, off label. Then it came out the company marketing it had been lying to doctors about the drug’s off label uses. However, some doctors still prescribe the medicine for FM. In 2007, Pfizer released Lyrica, which is structurally related to Neurontin and is FDA-approved for the treatment of Fibromyalgia.

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Is Cypress just grabbing at this tree?

Is Cypress just grabbing at this tree?

Looks like we may have a third option for “official” Fibromyalgia drugs. A San Diego-based biotech company, Cypress Bioscience, and its lab partner Forest Laboratories put milnacipran up for FDA approval, and expect to get a green light by the end of the month.

Milnacipran has been used outside the United States to treat depression. That lineage comes as no surprise, especially as the second drug approved for Fibro treatment was Lilly’s depression medication Cymbalta.

Cypress says its drug works by blocking serotonin and norepinephrine, both pain- and mood-related chemicals in the brain. However, the numbers from its clinical trial on the drug cause some doubt. In the study, 25 percent of respondents said they felt their pain level had “much” or “very much” improved, compared to 13 percent on the placebo.

Perhaps the FDA will ask Cypress to do more extensive studies. I like the fact that more companies are looking into the causes of our condition and ways to alleviate symptoms, but I feel like this company is just trying to grasp at the money tree from a group of desperate people.

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Supplements, anyone?

Supplements, anyone?

I have continued to experience improvement of my Fibromyalgia symptoms from increasing my Vitamin D levels. I’ve heard of a few others who have gone the same route and experienced relief. However, I came across this item today suggesting that taking a combination of Vitamin D, fish oil and magnesium works well.

Has anyone tried this?

Considering the noticeable difference from just the Vitamin D, I wouldn’t be surprised if modifying levels of other vitamins and proteins helped as well. Personally, I’m going to hold off on trying this one until I talk it over with my doctor.

(I purposely didn’t include the dosage amounts here, because I have no idea if it’s legit. The original item includes this, but I recommend talking it over with your doctor.)

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There are times where getting a massage makes an immense difference in my Fibro pain, other times it just makes it worse. I discovered this video showing massage techniques that help people with Fibromyalgia. I suggest getting a loved one to watch it, and then convincing them to employ a technique or two when trigger points are acting up.

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I got so excited when I came across news of a sleep study revealing more about Fibromyalgia. Each article I read lead off by telling of two Michigan universities that developed a new way of analyzing sleep fragmentation, which distinguishes between Fibromyalgia patients and those without the condition. And…that’s it. That’s all the info they’re giving.

It’s good that now they can identify the sleep patterns of Fibro patients, as a sleep disorder is one key component of the syndrome. However, where do they plan to go from here? Not sure, but they’re pretty excited about their new technology. Really, these headlines just need to quit teasing me.

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Beginning an exercise routine is always hard, but starting one with Fibromyalgia is doubly difficult. As I mentioned about a week ago, I picked up Wii Fit in an attempt to actually do yoga regularly. So far, so good.

The Wii Fit yoga program is pretty straightforward, and so far hasn’t overwhelmed me. I’ve taken the “slow and steady” plan, and am only exercising (for the first two weeks) for 20 minutes at a time. It’s just enough to work up a sweat, but not so much as to put you on the couch for the next three days.

I’ll admit, I was extra achy the next day after my first go-round, but since then it hasn’t been too noticeable. Next week, I’ll step up to 30 minutes and start adding in more strength training. Of course, I’ve already been playing with the balance games (like downhill skiing) that come along with Wii Fit. They’re fun, and may do some good.

As promised, I’ll continue to update on how using Wii Fit does or doesn’t help with my Fibro.

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The hippocampus may have something to do with fibro fog, among other things.

The hippocampus may have something to do with Fibromyalgia symptoms including fibro fog.

Researchers have (another) new idea about what causes some Fibromyalgia symptoms. In a small study published in the Journal of Rheumatology, researchers found FM patients had a dysfunction in the hippocampus region of the brain, MSNBC reported this week. The hippocampus is in the front of the brain and is involved in regulating emotions and memory.

The doctors calculated the levels of three brain chemicals within the hippocampus — N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), choline and creatine — within the study group of 15 Fibromyalgia patients and 10 control group patients (same ages as the FM people, but Fibro-free). All patients underwent assessments of sleep patterns and cognitive function as well.

All FM patients in the study exhibited cognitive functional impairments on the Mini-Mental State Examination and 60 percent had sleep disturbances. No control subject exhibited any of these problems.

“NAA levels of the right and left hippocampi were lower in the patients compared to controls,” Dr. Yasser Emad, of Cairo University, Egypt,’s research team explains. “Another statistically significant difference was observed in choline levels in the right hippocampus, which were higher in the patient group.” The Fibromyalgia patients also had significantly lower NAA to choline and NAA to creatine ratios compared with the control subjects.

This sounds really exciting, but it’s hard to not be a bit skeptical because of the tiny sample group used in this study. A mere 15 FM patients isn’t exactly representative of the whole group. However, I do think this study warrants further investigation into the role of the hippocampus and NAA brain chemical deficiencies in Fibromyalgia. Perhaps this can lead doctors toward a cure?

I’ve long been convinced that something was different in FM patients’ brains, particularly in the way we experience pain. Perhaps this is a start of something big. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed.

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