Author(s): Roizenblatt S, Moldofsky H, BeneditoSilva AA, Tufik S
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To characterize the patterns of alpha electroencephalographic sleep and their associations with pain and sleep in patients with fibromyalgia. METHODS: Pain and sleep symptoms of 40 female patients with fibromyalgia and 43 healthy control subjects were studied before and after overnight polysomnography. Blinded analyses of alpha activity in non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep were performed using time domain, frequency domain, and visual analysis techniques. RESULTS: Three distinct patterns of alpha sleep activity were detected in fibromyalgia: phasic alpha (simultaneous with delta activity) in 50\% of patients, tonic alpha (continuous throughout non-REM sleep) in 20\% of patients, and low alpha activity in the remaining 30\% of patients. Low alpha activity was exhibited by 83.7\% of control subjects (P < 0.01). All fibromyalgia patients who displayed phasic alpha sleep, activity reported worsening of pain after sleep, compared with 58.3\% of patients with low alpha activity (P < 0.01) and 25.0\% of patients with tonic alpha activity (P < 0.01). Postsleep increase in the number of tender points occurred in 90.0\% of patients with phasic alpha activity, 41.7\% of patients with low alpha activity, and 25.0\% of patients with tonic alpha activity (P < 0.01). Self ratings of poor sleep were reported by all patients with phasic alpha activity, 58.3\% of patients with low alpha activity (P < 0.01), and 12.5\% of patients with tonic alpha activity (P < 0.01). Patients with phasic alpha activity reported longer duration of pain than patients in other subgroups (P < 0.01). Additionally, patients with phasic alpha sleep activity exhibited less total sleep time than patients in other subgroups (P < 0.05), as well as lower sleep efficiency (P < 0.05) and less slow wave sleep (P < 0.05) than patients with a tonic alpha sleep pattern. CONCLUSION: Alpha intrusion during sleep can be of different patterns. Phasic alpha sleep activity was the pattern that correlated better with clinical manifestations of fibromyalgia.
This article was published in Arthritis Rheum
and referenced in Journal of Pain & Relief