The Effects of Sucrose Consumption on Left-Frontal Asymmetry and Anger in Persons with Fibromyalgia Syndrome – Source: Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain, Nov 2009

Objectives: Previous studies suggest that a carbohydrate-restricted diet ameliorates chronic and idiopathic post-prandial [after eating, or PP] mood symptoms in persons with fibromyalgia syndrome [FMS].

These studies, however, shed no light on the PP effects of carbohydrate on mood and its electroencephalographic correlates. The present study measured the effects of sucrose on electroencephalogram [EEG] and mood self-report measures in persons with FMS and age-matched healthy normal controls [HNC].

Methods: The present investigation sought to determine the relationships between reported mood, relative left-frontal EEG asymmetry [rLFA] in the alpha band, and blood glucose at baseline and four PP epochs following ingestion of pure sucrose in female participants with FMS [N = 8] and HNC [N = 10].


• The FMS and HNC showed equivalent patterns of blood glucose throughout the study,

• But FMS patients showed elevated levels of depression, anger, and other indicators of distress at all time points.

• An interaction emerged for high alpha [8-12 Hz] rLFA between experimental epoch and participant group, indicating increased rLFA for the FMS group at post-prandial 60 minutes.

• The pattern of increased rLFA correlated with anger for the FMS group only.

• At baseline, rLFA was negatively correlated with depressive sympomatology for the HNC group, and uncorrelated in the FMS group.

Conclusions: Results support previous findings of decoupling of mood and EEG in persons with elevated depression levels, as well as a unique EEG response to carbohydrates for the FMS participants. These results are discussed in terms of an approach-withdrawal model of affect.

Source: Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain, Nov 2009;17(4), 334 – 349. DOI: 10.3109/10582450903284737, by Shelley-Tremblay J, Ernst A, Kline JP. Department of Psychology, University of South Alabama, Alabama, USA.  

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