MRS links fibromyalgia pain to changes in brain molecule

June 3, 2008

A new study from the University of Michigan featuring proton MR spectroscopy has found a key linkage between the widespread muscle pain, tenderness, and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia and brain glutamate. Findings could lead to new drugs to treat the condition, researchers said.

A new study from the University of Michigan featuring proton MR spectroscopy has found a key linkage between the widespread muscle pain, tenderness, and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia and brain glutamate. Findings could lead to new drugs to treat the condition, researchers said.

Dr. Daniel J. Clauw, director of the UM Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center, and colleagues evaluated 21 patients with fibromyalgia and 27 healthy controls who underwent H1-MRS once before and once following a four-week course of acupuncture or "sham" acupuncture to reduce pain. They found that patients with greater reductions in pain showed greater reductions in glutamate in the insular cortex. Their findings appear in Arthritis and Rheumatism.