Rainbow at shoreline

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association, a 501(c)3 founded in 1985, exists to meet the needs of patients with CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or FM (Fibromyalgia), their families and loved ones. The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association works to educate health-care providers and the general public regarding these severely-disabling physical illnesses. We also support patients and their families and advocate for more effective treatment and research.

Wang, H. et al., "The Role of IL-8 in Patients with Fibromyalgia: A Prospective Longitudinal Study of 6 Months," Clin J Pain 25 (1) (2009): 1-4. PMID: 19158539

(Note: IL-8 or Interleukin-8 is a chemical with an important role in the immune system.)

Methods. IL-8 in sera was measured in 20 patients with FM undergoing pain treatment and 80 healthy participants at 4 fixed time points: at the beginning of the study, at 10 days, 21 days, and 6 months, respectively. Pain intensity, back function, depression, nicotine/alcohol consumption, and medication were assessed in the patient group and correlated with IL-8 levels.

Results. Before and during the inpatient therapy, the serum level of IL-8 was significantly higher in patients with FM compared with controls (P<0.001), but did not correlate with pain intensity and medication. Already at ten days into the study there was a significant reduction of IL-8 serum level (P=0.023) in the patient group. Six months after multidisciplinary pain therapy, IL-8 serum level in FM patients was still significantly higher than controls (P=0.044) but reduced approximately to normal range and correlated significantly negatively with pain intensity (r=-0.782, P=0.001). Patients with FM had significantly less pain (P<0.001) and better back function (P<0.001) at day 2 than at day 0. In addition, in patients with FM, IL-8 serum level correlated with nicotine consumption (r=0.471, P=0.042).

Conclusions. Our results suggest that IL-8 level contributes in patients with FM, but their pain intensity and back function can be improved under influence of multidisciplinary pain therapy without need of an anti-IL-8 therapy.

Notice about names

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association would like to clarify the use of the various acronyms for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) on this site. When we generate our own articles on the illness, we will refer to it as ME/CFS, the term now generally used in the United States. When we are reporting on someone else’s report, we will use the term they use. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are currently using ME/CFS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are calling the illness CFS.

Until there is consensus on a name for the illness, the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association name will not change.