The relationship between physical activity and brain responses to pain in fibromyalgia
The Journal of Pain, 04/04/2011
McLoughlin MJ et al.
– This study determined whether physical activity was predictive of brain responses to experimental pain in FM using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
34 participants (n = 16 FM; n = 18 Control) completed self-report and accelerometer measures of physical activity and underwent fMRI of painful heat stimuli
In FM patients, positive relationships between physical activity and brain responses to pain observed in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, and posterior insula, regions implicated in pain regulation
Negative relationships found for primary sensory and superior parietal cortices, regions implicated in sensory aspects of pain
Greater physical activity significantly associated with decreased pain ratings to repeated heat stimuli for FM patients
Similar nonsignificant trend observed in controls
Brain responses to pain significantly different between FM patients categorized as low active and those categorized as high active
In controls, positive relationships observed in lateral prefrontal, anterior cingulate, and superior temporal cortices and posterior insula
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