Fibromyalgia patients may soon find relief from disturbed sleep, pain and fatigue with a sleep related medication. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley uncovered the action of mechanism of sodium oxybate, under the brand name Xyrem. This drug has long been identified to improve sleep in patients with fibromyalgia.
In the recent publication from the Journal of Neuropathy, scientists found out that sodium oxybate or Xyrem trigger changes in the region of the brain that regulates sleep. The said drug had a positive effect on the thalamus, which restores the sleep pattern, specifically the normal deep brain wave.
Patients suffering from fibromyalgia, believed to have autoimmune components, have difficulty in sleeping due intense fatigue, and chronic joint and muscle pains. Deep sleep brain wave patterns are upset which makes continuous sleeping difficult.
The scientist were able to identify the action of the drug on the neurotransmitter – Gamma-Amino Butyric acid (GABA). GABA is responsible for constraining the action of the nervous system and affects sleep, the report said.
The report further stated that by specifically targeting the neurotransmitter in the thalamus, it may possibly restore a sound sleep pattern and provide comfort and relief to the fibromyalgia patients.
Fibromyalgia affects more women than men, and the symptoms include, tension headache, temporalmandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, anxiety and depression. Presently there is no known cure for this condition, however,there are palliative options to help ease the discomfort. Other remedies includes, relaxation, exercise, meditation and other stress reduction alternatives.
With this recent findings, fibromyalgia patients may finally find the elusive treatment for their condition and improved sleep.
Author: Amabelle Equio, Ph.D candidate in Nursing at Silliman University, Health, Fitness, Medical Writer, Photography Enthusiast.