Fibromyalgia has been the subject of research efforts investigating potential treatment. Doctors are also examining how existing medication approved by the FDA for fibromyalgia affects the brain of a patient.
Dr. Michael Mazzeffi, a physician in the department of anesthesiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, is conducting a study of the amino acid L Tyrosine, which is commonly found in meat, eggs, fish, wheat and dairy products, to see if it can lessen fibromyalgia symptoms. The amino acid is the precursor for norepinephrine in the central nervous system, which regulates pain. Mazzeffi hopes to increase norepinephrine in the central nervous system of fibromyalgia patients with a daily dose of L Tyrosine.
“For the sake of patients we really do need to find new treatments for pain,” says Mazzeffi. If his study subjects show improvement, the supplement may hold promise as a treatment option, pending additional study.
Another researcher, Dr. Benjamin Natelson of Beth Israel Medical Center, is studying the effect of the prescription drug Savella on lactate in the brain of fibromyalgia patients.
Partnering researcher Dikoma Shungu of Cornell University has shown that some patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition that can often occur simultaneously in fibromyalgia patients, demonstrate an abnormally high amount of lactate in the fluid around their brains.
In the study, Natelson performs a 30-minute test to assess a fibromyalgia patient’s level of “brain fog.” Then that patient gets Savella or a placebo, with Natelson monitoring whether or not the drug has any effect on the amount of lactate surrounding the brain.
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