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
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
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.
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
Brain Changes May Explain Chronic Pain Symptoms in Different Disorders – August 23, 2017 In Fibromyalgia, News. by 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
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:
- FDA Issues Gadolinium MRI Contrast Alert 9/30/15
- Overview of Imaging-related Medications 3/4/16
- Are MRIs Leaving Toxic Traces in the Brain? 12/18/16
Neuroimaging for Chronic Pain: IASP Consensus Statement – by Tori Rodriguez, MA, LPC October 19, 2017
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
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 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,
Machine learning finds brain activity differs in low and high pain states during chronic low back pain
In an early step toward finding a brain imaging biomarker for pain, researchers have detected brain activity patterns in individual patients with chronic low back pain (cLBP) that differ depending on the pain level that the patients experience.
The team from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, US, used machine learning algorithms to analyze brain imaging data captured with arterial spin labeling (ASL). Continue reading