Increased concentrations of nerve growth factor in cerebrospinal fluid – fibromyalgia research

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether there is a difference in the

concentration of nerve growth factor (NGF) in the

cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients diagnosed with primary

fibromyalgia syndrome (FM), fibromyalgia associated with other

secondary conditions (SFM), patients with other painful

conditions but lacking fibromyalgia (OTHER), and healthy


METHODS: The clinical measures of pain threshold

included the tender point index, a measure of pain threshold

intensity measured by digital pressure, and the average pain

threshold measured by dolorimetry. Concentrations of NGF in

the CSF were measured using a 2 site enzyme immunoassay.

RESULTS: The mean (+/- SEM) concentration of NGF measured in

patients with FM was significantly increased (41.8 +/- 12.7

pg/ml) compared to controls (9.1 +/- 4.1 pg/ml), but with

large variability. Concentrations of NGF is SFM (8.9 +/- 4.4

pg/ml) and OTHER (16.2 +/- 8.4 pg/ml) were not elevated

compared to controls.

CONCLUSION: The findings of increased

concentrations of NGF in patients with FM suggest a central

mechanism, involving abnormalities in neuropeptides such as

NGF, may be a factor in the pathogenesis of FM.

Giovengo SL, Russell IJ, Larson AA

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