Fibromyalgia changes the brain reveals research

fibromyalgia, brain, grey matter, white matter, pain, arthritis digestPain condition fibromyalgia may change the brain but perhaps not permanently, says a new small study in Arthritis Research & Therapy.

MRI scans of the brains of 23 women with fibromyalgia were compared to 21 women without fibromyalgia. Those with fibromyalgia had:

  • Changes of the grey matter volume (ie nerve cells), mainly in the regions responsible for processing and evaluating pain;
  • Changes in white matter in the thalamus (an important place for pain processing) that suggest alterations in how pain signals are conducted.

And the greater the decreased volume in a number of relevant brain regions, the more perceived pain the volunteers reported.

Benjamin Mosch, one of the key authors, explains that alterations to another area of the brain called the putamen “indicate that changes in the brain may not be permanent, but that they can be influenced… in other words they might be reversible, for example through an active everyday life.”

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