Studies have previously demonstrated that variations in certain brain waves can have an adverse effect on the ability of the brain to inhibit pain. Now, the effect of these variations, or oscillations, have been further studied in people suffering Fibromyalgia.
Earlier studies were unable to distinguish whether variations in brain waves resulted from acute pain attacks or from an ongoing sensitised state.
In order to better understand any relationship between the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and these variations, the recent study solely assessed the resting-state brain activity of 19 Fibromyalgia sufferers and, as a control, 18 healthy people of a similar age. The results demonstrated that in two regions at the front of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex, compared to the control subjects, those suffering Fibromyalgia had higher levels of variation in one type of brain wave called theta waves .
In those with Fibromyalgia, those variations in theta wave activity corresponded with levels of pain, tenderness and fatigue.
The research team reported that “increased prefrontal theta activity may contribute to persistent pain in fibromyalgia or represent the outcome of prolonged symptoms.”
In terms of how these findings may ultimately benefit people suffering Fibromyalgia, they concluded that “the findings point to the potential for therapeutic interventions aimed at normalizing [theta wave variations].”