Fibromyalgia Patients Seen to Benefit from Current Stimulation in Limited Study

Fibromyalgia Patients Seen to Benefit from Current Stimulation in Limited Study
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition, marked by distinct symptoms like fatigue, sleeping disorders, cognitive dysfunction, and mood disturbances. But agreement regarding the condition often ends there. Researchers and clinicians assume that sensory processing dysfunctions within the central nervous system are responsible for disease-related pain, but the accurate pathophysiology of fibromyalgia is still unknown — and treatments are still wanting. One tested hypothesis states that primary motor cortex stimulation reduces pain directly by inhibiting the activity of the lateral thalamus. Patients with fibromyalgia show increased activity and connectivity in pain-processing, although the specific role of the thalamus in the disease is unclear. According to another tested hypothesis, primary motor cortex stimulation results in analgesia, or insensitivity to pain, by facilitating the release of endogenous opioids. Recently, a noninvasive method called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been proposed as a potential treatment for fibromyalgia. Although the exact analgesic mechanisms of repetitive tDCS are not understood, the repetitive application of tDCS has been found to alter functional connectivity in brain regions around the stimulating electrode. A study titled “Changes in resting state functional connectivity after repetitive transcranial direct current stimulation applied to motor cortex in fibromyalgia patients,” published in
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