Dr. Gracely has received speaking fees from SimPar 2013 in Milan, Italy (less than $10,000) and owns stock in Algynomics, Inc.
Overlapping Structural and Functional Brain Changes in Patients With Long-Term Exposure to Fibromyalgia Pain
Article first published online: 27 NOV 2013
Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis & Rheumatism
Volume 65, Issue 12, pages 3293–3303, December 2013
How to Cite
Jensen, K. B., Srinivasan, P., Spaeth, R., Tan, Y., Kosek, E., Petzke, F., Carville, S., Fransson, P., Marcus, H., Williams, S. C. R., Choy, E., Vitton, O., Gracely, R., Ingvar, M. and Kong, J. (2013), Overlapping Structural and Functional Brain Changes in Patients With Long-Term Exposure to Fibromyalgia Pain. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 65: 3293–3303. doi: 10.1002/art.38170
- Issue published online: 27 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 27 NOV 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 27 AUG 2013 03:33PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Received: 2 JUN 2013
- Pharmaceutical company Pierre Fabre through financing of a placebo-controlled drug intervention study. Grant Number: EudraCT database no. 2004-004249-16
- COFAS Marie Curie Postdoctoral Program
- NIH. Grant Numbers: K01-AT003883, R21-AT004497
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Grant Number: R01-AT006364
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Grant Number: R03-AT218317
There is vast evidence to support the presence of brain aberrations in patients with fibromyalgia (FM), and it is possible that central plasticity is critical for the transition from acute to chronic pain. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between brain structure and function in patients with FM.
Functional connectivity of the brain during application of intermittent pressure–pain stimuli and measures of brain structure were compared between 26 patients with FM and 13 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed to obtain high-resolution anatomic images and functional MRI scans of the brain, which were used for measurements of pain-evoked brain activity.
FM patients displayed a distinct overlap between decreased cortical thickness, decreased brain volumes, and decreased functional regional coherence in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. The morphometric changes were more pronounced with longer exposure to FM pain. In addition, there was evidence of an association between structural and functional changes in the mesolimbic areas of the brain and the severity of comorbid depression symptoms in FM patients.
The combined integration of structural and functional measures allowed for a unique characterization of the impact of FM pain on the brain. These data may lead to the identification of early structural and functional brain alterations in response to pain, which could be used to develop markers for predicting the development of FM and other pain disorders.