Fibromyalgia and the role of brain connectivity in pain inhibition

Brain Connectivity is the essential peer-reviewed journal covering groundbreaking findings in the rapidly advancing field of connectivity research at the systems and network levels. Published 10 times per year in print and online, the Journal is under the leadership of Founding and Co-Editors-in-Chief Christopher Pawela, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin, and Bharat Biswal, PhD, Chair of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology. It includes original peer-reviewed papers, review articles, point-counterpoint discussions on controversies in the field, and a product/technology review section. To ensure that scientific findings are rapidly disseminated, articles are published Instant Online within 72 hours of acceptance, with fully typeset, fast-track publication within 4 weeks. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Brain Connectivity website.

Press Release:

New Rochelle, NY, October 1, 2014–The cause of fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome is not known. However, the results of a new study that compares brain activity in individuals with and without fibromyalgia indicate that decreased connectivity between pain-related and sensorimotor brain areas could contribute to deficient pain regulation in fibromyalgia, according to an article published in Brain Connectivity, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Brain Connectivity website at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/brain.2014.0274 until November 1, 2014.

The new study by Pär Flodin and coauthors from Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden) builds on previous findings in fibromyalgia that showed abnormal neuronal activity in the brain associated with poor pain inhibition. In the current study, “Fibromyalgia is Associated with Decreased Connectivity between Pain- and Sensorimotor Brain Areas”, the researchers report a pattern of “functional decoupling” between pain-related areas of the brain that process pain signals and other areas of the brain, such as those that control sensorimotor activity in fibromyalgia patients compared to healthy patients, in the absence of any external pain stimulus. As a result, normal pain perception may be impaired.

“Fibromyalgia is an understudied condition with an unknown cause that can only be diagnosed by its symptoms,” says Christopher Pawela, PhD, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Brain Connectivity and Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin. “This study by Flodin et al is an important first step in the understanding of how the brain is involved in the widespread pain perception that is characteristic of the disorder.”

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About the Journal

Brain Connectivity is the essential peer-reviewed journal covering groundbreaking findings in the rapidly advancing field of connectivity research at the systems and network levels. Published 10 times per year in print and online, the Journal is under the leadership of Founding and Co-Editors-in-Chief Christopher Pawela, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin, and Bharat Biswal, PhD, Chair of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology. It includes original peer-reviewed papers, review articles, point-counterpoint discussions on controversies in the field, and a product/technology review section. To ensure that scientific findings are rapidly disseminated, articles are published Instant Online within 72 hours of acceptance, with fully typeset, fast-track publication within 4 weeks. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Brain Connectivity website at http://www.liebertpub.com/brain.

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Mayo Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia: Strategies to Take Back Your Life
  • Abril M.D., Andy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 09/24/2019 (Publication Date) - Mayo Clinic Press (Publisher)

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Where does the pain in fibromyalgia come from?

Those who have fibromyalgia syndrome could have an increased intramuscular pressure, which could represent a new diagnostic aid in fibromyalgia syndrome and be a target for therapy to lessen muscle pressure, based on a study just published in The Journal of Rheumatology.

“This study directs attention to a peripheral target for both diagnosis and treatment that is not routinely monitored in clinical practice; intramuscular pressure, and hopefully provides a revised roadmap for a better understanding of pain in fibromyalgia syndrome,” wrote the authors, led by Robert S. Katz M.D., of the Rush Medical College from Chicago, Illinois.

People with fibromyalgia syndrome experience chronic pain, that is thought to come about via disordered central processing. The initial drugs for this chronic pain include things like pregabalin, duloxetine and milnacipran, that are useful to relieve the assumed central nervous system effect on widespread musculoskeletal pain. In the research, they question the common model of pain in fibromyalgia syndrome, looking to demonstrate that pain over the muscles is connected to increased intramuscular pressure.

The research included 108 people who met the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) requirements for fibromyalgia syndrome and 30 people who met the ACR criteria for a different rheumatic condition. Trapezius muscle pressure was assessed and participants had dolorimetry testing, digital palpation, and documented their pain scores.

The degree of pressure within the trapezius muscle of people with fibromyalgia syndrome resting was nearly 22 mm Hg higher than the pressure of the controls, with a mean pressure of 33.48 mm Hg versus 12.23 mm Hg, respectively. In 98 % of people with fibromyalgia syndrome, a pressure reading of 23 mm Hg or higher was recorded, which is greater when compared to a normal resting value of around 8 mm Hg.

People with fibromyalgia syndrome had been more tender than controls according to both dolorimetry and digital palpation (p<0.001 for both). The average pain rating in people with fibromyalgia syndrome and people with another rheumatic disease was 6.68 and 1.43, respectively (p<0.001). The researchers mentioned that these results are in line with prior evidence showing that pain and tenderness are frequent in the trapezius muscle of people with fibromyalgia syndrome, however they recommended that this pain/pressure connection needs more research.

“This is the first evidence of an abnormality in muscle pressure in fibromyalgia syndrome,” the researchers wrote. “Methods to reduce intramuscular pressure may be therapeutic.”

Sale
Mayo Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia: Strategies to Take Back Your Life
  • Abril M.D., Andy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 09/24/2019 (Publication Date) - Mayo Clinic Press (Publisher)

I get commissions for purchases made through links on this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.