Brain Imaging in Fibromyalgia – Source: Current Pain and Headache Reports, June 21, 2012

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Fibromyalgia is a primary brain disorder or a result of peripheral dysfunctions inducing brain alterations, with underlying mechanisms that partially overlap with other painful conditions.

Although there are methodologic variations, neuroimaging studies propose neural correlations to clinical findings of abnormal pain modulation in fibromyalgia.

Growing evidences of specific differences of brain activations in resting states and pain-evoked conditions confirm clinical hyperalgesia and impaired inhibitory descending systems, and also demonstrate cognitive-affective influences on painful experiences, leading to augmented pain-processing.

Functional data of neural activation abnormalities parallel structural findings of:

• Gray matter atrophy,

• Alterations of intrinsic connectivity networks,

• And variations in metabolites levels along multiple pathways.

Data from…

• Positron-emission tomography,

• Single-photon-emission-computed tomography,

• Blood-oxygen-level-dependent, voxel-based morphometry,

• Diffusion tensor imaging,

• Default mode network analysis,

• And spectroscopy…

….enable the understanding of fibromyalgia pathophysiology, and favor the future establishment of more tailored treatments.

Source: Current Pain and Headache Reports, June 21, 2012. Jorge LL, Amaro E Jr. Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein and Instituto de Reabilitacao ‘Lucy Montero’, Sao Paulo; Department of Radiology, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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