Pregabalin Improves Imbalance of Pain Networks in Fibromyalgia, Study Shows

Pregabalin Improves Imbalance of Pain Networks in Fibromyalgia, Study Shows
Treatment using pregabalin seems to restore the balance between excitation and inhibition of networks that regulate pain, leading to a reduction of painful symptoms in people with fibromyalgia. The study, “Novel Insights of Effects of Pregabalin on Neural Mechanisms of Intracortical Disinhibition in Physiopathology of Fibromyalgia: An Explanatory, Randomized, Double-Blind Crossover Study,” was published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain. Currently, researchers do not know exactly what causes the condition. The cerebral cortex is the most highly developed part of the brain and is responsible for higher thought processes, such as speech and decision making. Activity in this part of the brain, called cortical activity, is determined by the balance between excitation and inhibition, determined by the activity of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the cortex are massively interconnected, forming a network of feed forward and feedback circuits. Because of this immense interconnection, inhibitory cells should modulate the activity of excitatory cells and vice versa. The most accepted theory for the development of fibromyalgia is that it develops because of an imbalance in excitability/inhibition in the brain networks. Researchers think there is reduced inhibitory activity on neurons that process pain, which amplifies painful stimuli, leading to chronic pain. Pregabalin is an FDA-approved drug for fibromyalgia. However, there is limited evidence of its effect on the
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