We do not know what causes fibromyalgia, but today, as a result of research studies, we’ve got a clue. Fibromyalgia may be related to an abnormal blood flow in specific regions of the brain.
How is fibromyalgia associated with circulation in the brain?
Dr. Eric Guedj of the Centre Hospitalier-Universitaire de la Timone in Marseille, France, has been the lead researcher in a research examining blood perfusion (abnormal blood circulation) as a possible fibromyalgia cause.
Fibromyalgia Study Results
Past imaging studies of patients with fibromyalgia have shown above normal cerebral blood flow (brain perfusion) in some areas of the brain and below normal at other locations,” explains Dr. Guedj in a press release about the research.
“After performing whole brain scans around the participants, we used a statistical analysis to examine the relationship between practical activity in even the smallest area of the brain and various parameters associated with pain, disability, as well as anxiety and depression.”
Dr. Guedj’s team analyzed 30 women, 20 with fibromyalgia and 10 with no symptoms. The women answered various questionnaires used in the research field to quantify such things as pain levels and how badly fibromyalgia limits patients’ lives. Then the girls underwent single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), a special type of brain scan. With analyzing their brain scans, the researchers examined the women’s answers in combination.
What Did They Find in the Fibromyalgia Study?
Dr. Guedj’s group verified that women with fibromyalgia have abnormal blood flow in two areas of the brain:
- They have too much blood circulation (called hyperperfusion) at the area of the brain that’s supposed to interpret the intensity of pain.
- They have too little blood circulation (known as hypoperfusion) in the region of the brain that is involved in the psychological response to pain.
Additionally, Dr. Guedj’s team found that when a participant’s fibromyalgia symptoms were acute (as noticed by the research), then the level of blood perfusion was acute. To put it differently, the severity of the syndrome correlates with the intensity of blood circulation.
The group didn’t find a correlation between blood perfusion and the participants’ levels of depression or anxiety. That’s important to notice because previously, it’s been indicated that fibromyalgia pain is connected to depression: fibromyalgia patients experience widespread pain in part because of depression or nervousness.
What Exactly Does This Mean for Fibromyalgia Sufferers?
Dr. Guedj sums it up nicely in a media release: “This research shows that these patients exhibit modifications of brain perfusion not seen in healthy subjects and reinforces the idea that fibromyalgia is a ‘actual disease/disorder’.”
Quite simply, this study could help move fibromyalgia from syndrome to disease status since it has found a potential reason for fibromyalgia symptoms. Because there isn’t one cause of it fibromyalgia is known as a syndrome rather than a disease. Rather, there are signs and symptoms which point to a fibromyalgia diagnosis: for example, widespread pain, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and headaches. The analysis could help the medical community better understand fibromyalgia and how to effectively treat it.
Fibromyalgia is a complex condition affecting 3 million to 7 million Americans–many of these girls (hence why only women were utilized in the study). At the moment, there is healthcare professionals which have to diagnose it by eliminating other possible diseases/syndromes and by paying careful attention. This SPECT study could result in a way to confirm a fibromyalgia diagnosis.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Wellness
Overall health and wellness are essential towards maintaining the proper mental and physical balance in the body. From eating a balanced nutrition as well as exercising and participating in physical activities, to sleeping a healthy amount of time on a regular basis, following the best health and wellness tips can ultimately help maintain overall well-being. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can go a long way towards helping people become healthy.
The information herein on "Fibromyalgia Study: It's a Real Disease | Central Chiropractor" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.
Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. In addition, we provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
We are here to help you and your family.