My fibromyalgia comments:
Here's another article about the brain scans confirming that fibromyalgia pain is real -
something that we sufferers already knew long ago.
Fibromyalgia Pain is Real
Brain scans of people with fibromyalgia offer the first hard evidence of what patients
already know: Their pain is real and their threshold for tolerating it is substantially
lower than that of most individuals.
Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 2% to 4% of the population. Nine in 10 fibromyalgia
patients are female. Patients commonly report feeling tenderness, stiffness and sometimes
unbearable pain in various areas of the body. They also may suffer from fatigue, depression
and gastrointestinal problems. Some doctors without expertise in fibromyalgia have dismissed
patients' complaints because there have been no documented physical signs of the disorder.
In the new report fibromyalgia patients underwent a type of detailed brain scan known as
functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while an instrument intermittently applied
different levels of pressure to their left thumbnail.
When all study participants received the same level of mild pressure, blood flow increased
much more in the brains of patients with fibromyalgia than among those in the control group.
The increased blood flow -- which is a "surrogate measure" for nerve activity -- occurred in
areas of the brain known to be associated with pain.
In addition, when study participants were subjected to different levels of pressure, fibromyalgia
patients reported pain at half the level of pressure that caused the same feelings of pain among
the healthy controls.
Something appears awry with the way the central nervous system processes painful stimuli in
Arthritis & Rheumatism 2002;46:1333-1343
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