Which areas of the brain are involved in pain perception in fibromyalgia?

Updated: Nov 14, 2018
  • Author: Chad S Boomershine, MD, PhD, CPI, CPT; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Pain catastrophizing, defined as characterizing pain as unbearable or horrible, is an important factor in the experience of pain. Research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and quantitative sensory testing (QST) techniques has demonstrated that in persons with high catastrophizing, pain perception is augmented by increased activity in response to painful stimuli in brain areas involved in the following [67] :

  • Anticipation of pain (medial frontal cortex, cerebellum)

  • Attention to pain (dorsal anterior cingulate gyrus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex)

  • Emotional aspects of pain (claustrum, closely connected to the amygdala)


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