Study Using fMRI Finds Lyrica Effective in Lowering Fibromyalgia Pain


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Evaluation of the effectiveness of pregabalin in alleviating pain associated with fibromyalgia: using functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

By Seong-Ho Kim, et al.


PURPOSE: To assess the efficacy of pregabalin by showing differences in the neuronal activities of fibromyalgia (FM) patients before and after longitudinal treatment using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In total, 21 female patients with FM and 11 age- and gender-matched healthy controls participated. FM patients underwent fMRI at baseline and following pharmacological therapy with pregabalin to diminish their pain. Pressure-pain stimuli were delivered on the subject's thumbnail bed during fMRI scans. Brain activation regions in fMRI were evaluated for longitudinal changes using a paired t-test. Changes in clinical features were also assessed with the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Widespread Pain Index (WPI), Symptom Severity Scale Score (SSS), and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI).

RESULTS: Clinical scores were reduced significantly following therapy with five of the six clinical tests (FIQ, BFI, BDI, WPI, SSS; p < 0.05). Brain activation post-treatment was significantly lower than that pre-treatment in 13 regions of the brain (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings confirm that pregabalin influences aspects of the whole pain matrix, using fMRI, inducing longitudinal changes in neuronal activity during the pain state, and that it reduces pain and other core symptoms of FM. This method could be applied to other longitudinal clinical trials of pharmacological treatments for FM.

Source: PLoS One, September 6, 2013. By Seong-Ho Kim, Youngho Lee, Sunggun Lee, and Chi-Woong Mun.  Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Haeundae Paik Hospital, College of Medicine, Inje University, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea.

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