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J Pain. 2009 Jan;10(1):47-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2008.07.003. Epub 2008 Sep 4.

Hippocampal metabolite abnormalities in fibromyalgia: correlation with clinical features.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, LSU Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA. pwood@anglerbiomedical.com

Abstract

Although the pathology of fibromyalgia is poorly understood, a growing body of evidence suggests involvement of the central nervous system. The hippocampus is a brain center that is sensitive to the effects of stress exposure and has been demonstrated to be affected in a variety of disorders whose onset, like fibromyalgia, are associated with stressful experience. We therefore interrogated the bilateral hippocampus of 16 female fibromyalgia patients in comparison to 8 age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects using single voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Our results demonstrate a significant reduction in the ratio of N-acetylaspartate to creatine (NAA/Cr) in fibromyalgia patients versus matched control subjects specifically in the right temporal lobe from a voxel centered on the right hippocampus (patient vs control, mean +/- standard deviation: 1.20 +/- 0.13 vs 1.34 +/- 0.10, P = .03). Moreover, correlation analysis demonstrated a significant negative correlation between patient scores on the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and NAA/Cr ratio within the right hippocampus (Spearman rank correlation, rho = -0.681, P = .018). Our results indicate that fibromyalgia is associated with brain metabolite abnormalities within the right hippocampus that correlate with patient symptoms.

PERSPECTIVE:

We have demonstrated an abnormality in hippocampal brain metabolites in premenopausal female fibromyalgia patients with no psychiatric comorbidity. A significant negative correlation between patient subjective experience of symptoms and a reduced NAA/Cr ratio suggests a role for hippocampal pathology in fibromyalgia.

PMID:
18771960
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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