Brain Hyperactivation May Underlie Response to Pain in Fibromyalgia, Study Suggests

Brain Hyperactivation May Underlie Response to Pain in Fibromyalgia, Study Suggests
The increased sensitivity to pain seen in people with fibromyalgia (FM) may be part of a more general high sensitivity — or brain hyperactivation — to other stimuli, or what neuroscientists call salient events, a study suggests. These findings may indicate that medications and techniques that help to "reprioritize" these events —  such as "mindfulness meditation" that may help the body better cope with painful stimuli — may be useful in reducing FM symptoms. The study, "Aberrant salience? Brain hyperactivation in response to pain onset and offset in fibromyalgia," was published in the peer-reviewed journal Arthritis & Rheumatology. Fibromyalgia is still a poorly understood condition, characterized by numerous symptoms, namely chronic musculoskeletal pain and mood and cognitive disturbances. The current consensus among scientists is that the disease is mainly a disorder of the central nervous system (CNS), manifesting with increased sensitivity to painful stimulus and a tendency for the body to perceive non-painful stimuli as painful. "FM patients also show evidence of generalized hypersensitivity to visual, auditory, and olfactory stimuli," the researchers said. "Given that FM patients appear to be hypersensitive to different types of sensory stimuli, we
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