Neurofeedback Procedure Relieves Chronic Pain in Fibromyalgia Patients, Study Reports

Neurofeedback Procedure Relieves Chronic Pain in Fibromyalgia Patients, Study Reports
Targeting a brain region called the amygdala with a procedure known as neurofeedback improved sleep quality and reduced depression and anxiety, associated with less chronic pain in the long term in fibromyalgia patients, a study reports. The study, “Volitional limbic neuromodulation has a multifaceted clinical benefit in Fibromyalgia patients,” was published in the journal NeuroImage. Volitional neuromodulation, or neurofeedback, measures a person's brain waves and provides feedback to reorganize or retrain those brain signals. Neurofeedback may be particularly useful in somatic disorders such as chronic pain and insomnia, but its precise effects remain to be determined. Chronic pain in fibromyalgia has been suggested as a multistep process involving impaired mood regulation and sleep quality, which, in turn, may lead to further neural, physiological, and behavioral changes, as well as increased pain, in a vicious cycle. The amygdala plays a key role in the regulation of pain, sleep, and emotion. Fibromyalgia patients show altered function of the limbic system, which includes the amygdala, as well as reduced gray matter volume — including cell bodies, their projections, and the sites where neurons communicate, called synapses — within this region. Because abnormal limbic system function has also been shown in people with sleep deprivation, scientists in Israel hypothesized that neurofeedback targeting limbic activity could be beneficial for fibromyalgia patients. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-neurofeedback has shown successful modulation of amygdala activity in healthy individuals, as well as in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorder, and major depression. Also targeting the limbic system, this approa
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