Pain modulation in patients with fibromyalgia undergoing acupuncture treatment is associated with fluctuations in serum neuropeptide Y levels

Cristina Iannuccelli, Maria Paola Guzzo, Fabiola Atzeni, Franca Mannocci, Cristiano Alessandri, Maria Chiara Gerardi, Guido Valesini, Manuela Di Franco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a neurotransmitter released by sympathetic neurons, which is probably involved in pain modulation. Acupuncture is increasingly used as an alternative or complementary means of controlling pain in rheumatic diseases such as fibromyalgia (FM), a chronic widespread pain syndrome accompanied by allodynia and hyperalgesia. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of an acupuncture cycle on serum NPY levels in patients with FM, and identify possible correlations between its serum levels and clinical and clinimetric parameters. Methods. The study involved 30 FM patients who underwent clinical and clinimetric evaluations and blood sampling at baseline and at the end of the treatment, and 20 healthy subjects who underwent blood sampling. Results. The baseline serum NPY levels of the patients were higher than those of the controls. They had significantly increased by the end of the treatment, when there was also a statistically significant reduction in pain, the number of tender points number, and the clinimetric scores. Conclusion. These findings confirm the analgesic properties of acupuncture as a complementary treatment in FM, and indicate that NPY could play a role in pain modulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Volume35
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Acupuncture
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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