Leptin: A new pain predictor for fibromyalgia
According to a new report, leptin plays a vital role in predicting the pain levels of fibromyalgia (FM). This disorder is characterized by widespread pain and is normally accompanied by fatigue, memory problems and sleep disturbances. Fibromyalgia has been described as a heterogeneous condition associated with differences in biological variables including elevated sedimentation rate (ESR), cytokine profile and hormone levels. Biomarkers for this disease have until now not been identified.
In the context of their research work, Vectra DA, a blood test, was validated to identify high level of disease activity and serum biomarkers in patients with fibromyalgia and elevated inflammatory markers. This was a cross-sectional study of 33 patients from Los Angeles County. The results obtained with Vectra DA were high in patients, with mean score of 46.5 (range 30 to 84, or moderate to high activity). The serum concentrations of the 12 biomarkers except for leptin were similar to the ones observed for rheumatoid arthritis patients. Among the FM patients, 45% had higher leptin levels.
Research, however, has found that leptin appears to play an important pro-inflammatory and immunomodulatory role in the pathogenesis of this clinical subgroup of FM patients with elevated leptin levels. Therefore, a better understanding of the leptin participation in the pathogenic processes of fibromyalgia may lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in fibromyalgia.