Oscillations in Specific Brain Waves May Be Related to Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Study Finds

Oscillations in Specific Brain Waves May Be Related to Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Study Finds
A new study from the U.K. shows that oscillations, or variations, in specific brain waves seem to correlate with fibromyalgia (FM) pain symptoms and fatigue in a small group of female patients. Findings from the study, "Altered theta oscillations in resting EEG of fibromyalgia syndrome patients," can be found in the European Journal of Pain. Previous studies have shown that fibromyalgia as well other chronic pain conditions can affect brain activity. However, many of the experimental studies are unable to distinguish whether altered brain activity is a result of acute pain attacks or is more reflective of an ongoing state of sensitization. The current study assessed the resting-state brain activity to better understand the relationship between fibromyalgia symptoms and brain oscillations. Using electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings, the researchers looked at changes in recordings between 19 female fibromyalgia patients and 18 age-matched healthy controls. The average age of the participants was 40. Oscillations in different wavelength were assessed. These included the delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma frequency bands. To correlate the results with fibromyalgia-associated symptoms, the team also used the Manual Tender Point Scale (MTPS) to quantify pain and tenderness and other measurement tools to assess mood, arousal, and fatigue. As expected, fibromyalgia patients reported higher levels of pain and decreased mood, and were significantly more tired compared to healthy participants. Concern
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