In 2013 a Spanish group proposed that mitochondrial dysfunction in FM patient was driving an inflammatory process. Now, in 2015 they have returned with a study looking at mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and inflammation using skin biopsies from people with FM.
Oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and, inflammation common events in skin of patients with Fibromyalgia. Benito Sánchez-Domínguez a,1, Pedro Bullón a,1, Lourdes Román-Malo a, Fabiola Marín-Aguilar a, Elísabet Alcocer-Gómez b, Angel M. Carrión c, José Antonio Sánchez-Alcazar b,d, Mario D. Cordero a. Mitochondrion 21 (2015) 69–75
Given the allodynia present, and the increasing evidence of small fiber neuropathy in FM, the skin is becoming an ever more intriguing place to look in fibromyalgia. Something, after all, is "burning away" those small unmyelinated nerve fibers in their skin. Is it inflammation? Are the mitochondria going bananas? (Could it be both?). This study won't tell us what's causing the SFN or allodynia in FM – it's not going to assess either of them– but it may provide some suspects future studies can follow up on.
This small Spanish study looked at the levels of mitochondrial enzymes, mitochondrial proteins, ATP, CoQ 10 and TNF-a from a small patch of skin in the left shoulder region, as well as in the blood and saliva of 23 people with FM and 20 healthy controls.