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Newly Discovered Sensory System in the Skin May Explain Fibromyalgia

A newly discovered sensory system hidden in a network located throughout our blood vessels and sweat glands, separate from the usual nerves that gives us the ability to touch and feel, may explain difficult to treat pain conditions like Fibromyalgia skin Researchers at Albany Medical College, the University of Liverpool and Cambridge University discovered the presence of sensory nerve endings on the small blood vessels and sweat glands embedded in the skin. Previously thought to contribute to the regulation of blood flow and sweating, these glands were dismissed as possibly contributing to conscious sensation. The discovery was made when Dr. Bowsher and his team were examining two unique patients with congenital insensitivity to pain. These patients did not have the usual nerve endings associated to skin sensation but yet had the ability to have adequate sensation for daily living to what's warm, cold, someone touching them and what is rough and smooth. The discovery of this network of sensory system reveals that there is a secondary sensory feedback system for conscious tactile information. Problems with these nerve endings could be the cause behind difficult to treat pain conditions such as migraine headaches and fibromyalgia. Reference: 1. Bowsher et al. Absence of pain with hyperhidrosis: A new syndrome where vascular afferents may mediate cutaneous sensation. Pain, 2009; 147 (1-3): 287 DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2009.09.007

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