People with fibromyalgia have a higher frequency of rhythmic brain waves in areas related to pain modulation.That go parallel with the severity of it.The study, published in a journal, adds to the evidence of abnormal processing in the brain of sensory symptoms of fibromyalgia , indicating that l as addresses that regulate the pace of these nerve signals, can relieve pain patients with fibromyalgia.
Recent research has suggested that there are altered rhythms in the nerve networks that connect the thalamus – the brain’s region of pain processing and sensory signals – and the cortex,the receptor of those signals.
Such rhythmic patterns, called neural oscillations and classified according to their frequency, are crucial for numerous brain functions, and the disturbed rhythm has also been described in other diseases.The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Medicine, South Korea, analyzed brain waves in 18 women with fibromyalgia, and 18 healthy controls of the same age and sex, using records of spontaneous activity using magnetoencephalography.The analysis found that the patients had increased power, or amplitude, of three types of oscillations, called theta, beta and gamma, and a deceleration of the fourth, known as the alpha peak.
Combining the analysis with magnetic resonance imaging, the study, “Increase of low and high oscillatory frequency, activity in the prefrontal cortex of patients with fibromyalgia”, could locate the perturbations in specific regions of the brain.In addition, the increased activity of high frequency beta and gamma oscillations in two areas of the brain – the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the orbitofrontal cortex – was linked to higher clinical pain scores in patients with fibromyalgia .
These regions of the brain are used in the cognitive and emotional processing of pain, and abnormal activity in these regions can explain the relentless pain in people with the disease.
This is the first study of neuronal oscillations in patients with fibromyalgia, presenting data that are compatible with other types of observations that indicate thalamic-cortical dysrhythmia is found in the “heart” of many chronic pain disorders. While the authors say the findings need to be replicated in larger studies, better modeling activity for specific regions of the brain, the study is an important contribution to understanding the processes of fibromyalgia.
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