Tag Archives: imaging

AI Can Spot Fibromyalgia Pain

AI can spot the pain from a disease some doctors still think is fake – By Olivia Goldhill – August 9, 2018

In the 16 years since Liptan had her illness [fibromyalgia] so summarily dismissed in 2002, there are still those who believe fibromyalgia isn’t “real.”

There’s no tissue damage that explains the pain fibromyalgia patients experience all over their body, and contemporary medicine struggles to treat and even accept an illness where pain seems to be rooted in the mind or brain, rather than a bodily injury.

Artificial intelligence, though, has the potential to make a diagnosis in minutes. Last year, researchers used machine learning to distinguish the brain scans of those with fibromyalgia from those without—with 93% accuracy.   Continue reading

Central mechanisms of pain revealed by MRI

Central mechanisms of pain revealed through functional and structural MRI. – J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2013 Jun;

MR-based brain imaging technologies provide a suite of functional and structural metrics that can be used to test hypotheses about the CNS mechanisms underlying pain perception and chronification, from a cellular level to a systems level.

Two types of functional MRI discussed in this review provide insight into pain mechanisms:   Continue reading

Fibromyalgia & Rheumatoid Arthritis Features Overlap

Imaging Study Finds Rheumatoid Arthritis Shares Neurobiological Features of Fibromyalgia – Pain Medicine News

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have increased levels of fibromyalgianess (FMness)—a continuous measure of fibromyalgia—show neurobiological features that are consistently observed in fibromyalgia patients, according to a study that used neuroimaging.

“This is the first study to provide neuroimaging evidence that rheumatoid arthritis [RA] is a mixed pain state,” said senior author Daniel Clauw, MD, a professor of anesthesiology and the director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. 

I believe this is true for me and my EDS + Fibromyalgia: the endlessly repeating small injuries and pains from EDS eventually sensitized my nervous system into a state of “fibromyalgia-ness”. I can easily imagine the same would happen with RA. Continue reading

Adverse cognitive effects of antiepileptics

Here are excerpts from several articles that investigate the effects of antiepileptics, like gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica), which are increasingly prescribed for pain simply because they are not opioids.

This is a followup from a previous post: Some antiepileptic drugs increase risk of dementia.

Adverse cognitive effect of gabapentin [Neurontin] in individuals with spinal cord injury: preliminary findings. – PubMed – NCBI – Spinal Cord Ser Cases. 2018 Jan   Continue reading

Variability in the human response to pain

Intrinsic variability in the human response to pain is assembled from multiple, dynamic brain processes – ScienceDirect – July 2013

The stimulus-evoked response is the principle measure used to elucidate the timing and spatial location of human brain activity.

Brain and behavioural responses to pain

  • are influenced by multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors and
  • display considerable, natural trial-by-trial variability.   Continue reading

Different Disorders, Same Pain

Brain Changes May Explain Chronic Pain Symptoms in Different Disorders – August 23, 2017 In Fibromyalgia, Newsby Patricia Inacio, PhD

Even though fibromyalgia and urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome (UCPPS) are different disorders, new research suggests that patients suffering from these conditions may actually share alterations to the brain, perhaps explaining why certain UCPPS patients exhibit fibromyalgia characteristics, such as widespread pain.

The study “Brain signature and functional impact of centralized pain: a multidisciplinary approach to the study of chronic pelvic pain (MAPP) network study” was published in the journal Pain.   Continue reading

FDA Safety alert for MRI Contrast Agents

Drug Safety Communication on Gadolinium Contrast Agents | Drug Topics – December 20, 2017

The FDA has issued a drug safety communication about gadolinium-based contrast agents used in MRIs. It is requiring a new class warning and other safety measures for these products.

This is not the first time this issue has arisen:

Continue reading

Neuroimaging for Chronic Pain: IASP Consensus Statement

Neuroimaging for Chronic Pain: IASP Consensus Statement – by 

health and disability insurance companies seek methods to confirm the pain status of beneficiaries to corroborate self-report, which is the current gold standard for pain assessment in clinical and research settings.

All parts of our health system (and its interface to the legal and financial systems) have difficulties with self-reported symptoms because they are all based on numerical values that are independently verifiable.

A blood test or x-ray taken by your doctor will not yield significant differences from the ones taken by your insurance company or lawyer, so these are seen as “factual evidence”.   Continue reading

Brain Imaging as a ‘Lie Detector’ for Chronic Pain

New Guidelines Discourage Use of Brain Imaging as a ‘Lie Detector’ for Chronic Pain Sep-2017

A task force consisting of researchers from around the world and led by a scientist at the Krembil Research Institute in Toronto has released a set of recommendations that advise against the use of brain imaging as a test for chronic pain.  

“It’s not possible at this point in time to say with any degree of certainty that a person does or does not have chronic pain based on brain imaging,” said Dr. Karen Davis, Head, Division of Brain, Imaging and Behaviour-Systems Neuroscience at the Krembil Research Institute at UHN . 

“The only way to truly know if someone is in pain is if they tell you because pain is subjective and it is a complex experience. No brain scan can do that.” Continue reading

Gadolinium for Scans Builds Up Even in Normal Brains

Gadolinium Builds Even in Normal Brains | Medpage Today – by Kristina Fiore Kristina Fiore, Deputy Managing Editor, MedPage Today June 29, 2017

Gadolinium from imaging contrast agents sticks to neural tissues even in patients who don’t have intracranial abnormalities, according to a small, single-center, retrospective study.

In a postmortem study comparing tissues from the brains of five patients who had several magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans using gadolinium with 10 patients who had MRIs without contrast, elemental gadolinium was detected in four neuroanatomic regions of all five patients, with concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 19.4 mcg per gram of tissue,

Robert McDonald, MD, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues reported online in Radiology.   Continue reading