Fibromyalgia Patients Have Decreased Brain Connectivity in Some Regions, Study Reports

Fibromyalgia Patients Have Decreased Brain Connectivity in Some Regions, Study Reports
Using specialized magnetic resonance imaging technology, a study from Taiwan found that patients with fibromyalgia have decreased brain connectivity in specific regions, including the insula and the default mode network. The insula is part of the cerebral cortex and has been proposed to act as a switching core that relays sensory information. The default mode network (DMN) is a network of interacting brain regions that is normally active when a person is in a "restful" state and not focused on a particular task. Patients with fibromyalgia are hypersensitive to pain, and studies have shown increased pain responses in the pain network in the brain, including the insula and DMN regions. Technical limitations have prevented the study of in-depth changes in brain connectivity. The study, "Altered insula–default mode network connectivity in fibromyalgia: a resting-state magneto encephalographic study," was recently published in the Journal of Headache and Pain. A research team used a specialized type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique called magnetoencephalography (MEG). This technique maps brain activity by recording magnetic fields produced by electrical currents occurring naturally in the brain by using very sensitive magnetometers. Twenty-eight patients with fibromyalgia were enrolled in the study, along with 28 age- and sex-matched controls. All study participants were from 20 to 60 years ol
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