Brain Stimulation plus Cognitive Training Boosts Memory, Verbal Fluency in Women with Fibromyalgia, Study Shows

Brain Stimulation plus Cognitive Training Boosts Memory, Verbal Fluency in Women with Fibromyalgia, Study Shows
Combining a form of noninvasive brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) with cognitive training improved memory and verbal fluency in women with fibromyalgia, researchers from Brazil found. Their study, “Cognitive effects of transcranial direct current stimulation combined with working memory training in fibromyalgia: a randomized clinical trial,” appeared in the journal Scientific Reports. Although the processes involved in fibromyalgia are still barely understood, scientists have suggested that an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory nerve transmissions in the central nervous system (CNS) may be involved. The increase in neural signaling is associated with hypersensitivity to pain, as well as psychological distress and sleep disturbance. A growth factor called BDNF plays a crucial role in CNS nerve transmission, as it strengthens excitatory and weakens inhibitory synapses — the sites of communication between neurons. The importance of BDNF in nerve transmission has been shown in both the spinal cord and a brain region known as the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Due to its role in diverse functions, the PFC has been a preferential target for tDCS, a technique used to improve cognitive function. Specifically, anodal (positive) tDCS applied to the dorsolateral subregion of the PFC (DLPFC) improved working memory — a form of short-term memory important for reasoning and decision-making — in healthy adults. The parallel use of a cognitive training task boosted these benefits. In fibromyalgia patien
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3 comments

  1. Scott Wicker says:

    Did the researchers control for the types of pain medications the patients were on?

    Am interested in Neurontin as well as opeates.

    Scott Wicker MA RN

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