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Researchers debate the brain's role in Fibromyalgia

Friday 3 October 2014


From Science World Report:


Man in pain on bed
Statistics show that fibromyalgia affects an estimated
5 million adults.
(Photo : Erik Ogan)

Researchers Debate The Brain's Role In Fibromyalgia

Kathleen Lees
First Posted: Oct 01, 2014 04:40 PM EDT

The cause of fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome that typically affects older individuals, is still relatively unknown. Yet now, recent findings published in the journal Brain Connectivity show that decreased connectivity between pain-related and sensorimotor brain areas could contribute to deficient pain regulation of the health issue.

New findings by Pär Flodin and coauthors from Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden) build on previous findings on fibromyalgia based on abnormal neuronal activity found in the brain associated with poor pain inhibition. Researchers discovered that a pattern of "functional decoupling" between pain-related areas of the brain that process pain signals and other areas of the brain, including those that control sensorimotor activity in fibromyaltia patients compared to healthy ones, in the absence of external pain stimulus, may cause impaired pain perception.

"Fibromyalgia is an understudied condition with an unknown cause that can only be diagnosed by its symptoms," said Christopher Pawela, PhD, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Brain Connectivity and Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin, in a news release. "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."

Statistics show that fibromyalgia affects an estimated 5 million adults, with prevalence much higher in women than men and more commonly diagnosed during middle age or older individuals.

Issues related to this health issue can include the following: morning stiffness, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, headaches, including migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep disturbances, cognitive problems with thinking and memory, and painful menstrual periods.


The above originally appeared here.


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