Mapping brain response to pain in fibromyalgia patients using temporal analysis of FMRI

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Publication Details

Author list: Soriano-Mas C
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Publication year: 2009
Journal: PLoS ONE (1932-6203)
Volume number: 4
Issue number: 4
Start page: e5224
Number of pages: 10
ISSN: 1932-6203
eISSN: 1932-6203
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


BACKGROUND: Nociceptive stimuli may evoke brain responses longer than
the stimulus duration often partially detected by conventional
neuroimaging. Fibromyalgia patients typically complain of severe pain
from gentle stimuli. We aimed to characterize brain response to painful
pressure in fibromyalgia patients by generating activation maps adjusted
for the duration of brain responses. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:
Twenty-seven women (mean age: 47.8 years) were assessed with fMRI. The
sample included nine fibromyalgia patients and nine healthy subjects who
received 4 kg/cm(2) of pressure on the thumb. Nine additional control
subjects received 6.8 kg/cm(2) to match the patients for the severity of
perceived pain. Independent Component Analysis characterized the
temporal dynamics of the actual brain response to pressure. Statistical
parametric maps were estimated using the obtained time courses. Brain
response to pressure (18 seconds) consistently exceeded the stimulus
application (9 seconds) in somatosensory regions in all groups. fMRI
maps following such temporal dynamics showed a complete pain network
response (sensory-motor cortices, operculo-insula, cingulate cortex, and
basal ganglia) to 4 kg/cm(2) of pressure in fibromyalgia patients. In
healthy subjects, response to this low intensity pressure involved
mainly somatosensory cortices. When matched for perceived pain (6.8
kg/cm(2)), control subjects showed also comprehensive activation of
pain-related regions, but fibromyalgia patients showed significantly
larger activation in the anterior insula-basal ganglia complex and the
cingulate cortex. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results suggest that
data-driven fMRI assessments may complement conventional neuroimaging
for characterizing pain responses and that enhancement of brain
activation in fibromyalgia patients may be particularly relevant in
emotion-related regions.


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Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:45