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The effects of multidisciplinary therapy on positron emission tomography of the brain in Fibromyalgia: A pilot study

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By B Walitt, et al. • • August 19, 2007

Aberrant central neurological functioning is believed to contribute to the abnormal sensations of Fibromyalgia (FM). This pilot study sought to determine if alterations in regional brain metabolism from baseline occur in FM after undergoing a multidisciplinary therapeutic regimen.

Regional brain metabolic activity was estimated using (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ((18)FDG PET).

Nine participants with FM received an 8-week comprehensive treatment program. Serial testing with (18)FDG PET and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire were performed. Statistical analysis was performed using repeated Wilcoxon signed rank tests. A clinical improvement (FIQ median change 20.68, P = 0.005) was noted with treatment.

With treatment, increases in brain metabolism were noted in various components of the limbic system (P = 0.004-0.1). An increase in limbic metabolism was noted with concomitant symptomatic improvement, suggesting that the limbic system attenuates FM symptoms. [Note: the limbic system includes the structures of the brain that influence the formation of memory by integrating emotional states with stored memories of physical sensations.]

Source: Rheumatology International. 2007 Jul 20; [E-publication ahead of print] PMID: 17634904, by Walitt B, Roebuck-Spencer T, Esposito G, Atkins F, Bleiberg J, Foster G, Weinstein A. Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, USA. [E-mail:]

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