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The Blog of Dr. Ann Conn


Fibromyalgia Associated with Abnormal Brain Receptor Function

4/1/2013 12:00 pm
Posted by Dr. Ann Conn

A presentation at the 2012 American College of Rheumatology Meeting examined abnormal pain processing in the brain of patients with fibromyalgia.  The brain’s normal pain inhibiting processes malfunction in these patients.  The study revealed a connection between u-opioid receptor function and pain response.  Both, functional MRI and PET was used the evaluate u-opioid receptors. Dr. Richard Harris PhD of University of Michigan found that either there were too few receptors in the brain, or activation of receptors caused pain instead of decreasing pain as expected.   Dr. Harris said,”This study may explain why patients with fibromyalgia do not respond to narcotics, and may even worsen symptoms.”

This study supports the biological basis for fibromyalgia.  Some source still question that existence of the disease.  Evaluation of brain function with newer imaging techniques are improving our understanding of pain.  This evidence also help decrease prejudice against pain patients and fibromyalgia patients in particular.

At our Northshore Clinic, we use the best new evidence to care for our patients.  We are constantly considering evolving information to improve treatment.



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