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Fatigue in chronic inflammation – a link to pain pathways

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By K. Louati and F. Berenbaum 

 
Abstract
 
Fatigue is a frequent symptom in several inflammatory diseases, particularly in rheumatic diseases. Elements of disease activity and cognitive and behavior aspects have been reported as causes of fatigue in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Fatigue could be associated with activity of inflammatory rheumatism. Indeed, biologic agents targeting inflammatory cytokines are effective in fatigue. Fatigue is also associated with pain and depressive symptoms. Different pathways could be involved in fatigue and interact: the immune system with increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1 and -6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha), dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and neurological phenomena involving the central and autonomic nervous systems. A pro-inflammatory process could be involved in pain and behavioral symptoms. Inflammation could be a common link between fatigue, pain, and depression.
 
Source: Karine Louati, Francis Berenbaum. Fatigue in chronic inflammation – a link to pain pathways. Arthritis Research & Therapy, December 2015, 17:254. First online: 05 October 2015. DOI: 10.1186/s13075-015-0784-1

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