Author(s): Fallon N, Li X, Chiu Y, Nurmikko T, Stancak A
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Abstract Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is characterized by widespread chronic pain, fatigue, sleep disorders, and cognitive-emotional disturbance. Patients with FMS exhibit increased sensitivity to experimental pain and pain-related cues, as well as deficits in emotional regulation. The present study investigated the spatiotemporal patterns of brain activations for observed pain in 19 patients with FMS and 18 age-matched, healthy control individuals using event-related potential analysis. Patients with FMS attributed greater pain and unpleasantness to pain pictures, relative to healthy control participants. An augmented late positive potential (LPP) component (>500 milliseconds) was found in patients viewing both pain and nonpain pictures, and this amplitude difference in the LPP covaried with perceived unpleasantness of pictures. Mid-latency potentials (250-450 milliseconds) demonstrated similar amplitude increases of positive potentials in the FMS patient group. By contrast, the short-latency positive potential (140 milliseconds) was reduced in patients with FMS relative to healthy control participants. Results suggest amplitude increases to mid- to long-latency cortical activations in patients with FMS, which are known to reflect emotional control and motivational salience of stimuli. PERSPECTIVE: Patients with FMS demonstrate increased activations associated with pain and nonpain pictures. The findings suggest that even innocuous, everyday visual stimuli with somatic connotations may challenge the emotional state of patients with FMS. Our study points toward the importance of cognitive-emotional therapeutic approaches for the treatment of FMS. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
This article was published in J Pain
and referenced in International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology