What Does the RESEARCH Study on FIBROMYALGIA Report?
The study is the first to compare what fms patients report they feel and what is happening in their brains when they feel pain. The findings were published in the May 2002 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, The Journal of the American College of Rheumatology.
Who were the Researchers Conducting the Fibromyalgia Study and What Does Reveal?
The Research study confirms scientifically what patients have been telling physicians in the medical community for years. “The brain scan technology gave us an opportunity to look at the neurobiology of tenderness (tender point), the hallmark of FMS,” says Daniel Clauw (M.D. 1985). Dr. Daniel Clauw, U.M. professor of Internal Medicine, conducted the study at Georgetown University Medical Center. The National Institute of Health states, “These results, combined with work done by others, convinced us that some pathologic process is making these patients more sensitive. For some reason, still unknown, there is a neurobiological amplification of their pain signals.”
Leading author, Richard Gracely, Ph.D., professor of Internal Medicine and Neurology at U.M. Medical School, and Dr. Clauw used a super-fast form of MRI brain imaging called functional MRI (FMRI) to test 16 fms patients and 16 people without the disease while, a device applied precisely calibrated rapidly pulsing pressure to their thumbnails. Patients reporting pain from mild pressure had increased activity in 12 brain areas, while the control subjects feeling the same pressure had increased activity in only two areas of the brain. The study was supported in part by the National Fibromyalgia Research Association, the U.S. Army, and the National Institute of Health.