Motor cortex function in fibromyalgia: a pilot study involving near-infrared spectroscopy and co-recording of laser-evoked potentials
Original Article, 107 - 118Tag this article
Interaction between the motor and nociceptive systems seems to play an important role in chronic pain. In this pilot study we used a combination of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (FNIRS) and laserevoked potentials (LEPs) during concurrent finger tapping task and noxious laser stimulation in fibromyalgia (FM) patients and controls. The study included 9 healthy subjects and 15 FM patients. During concurrent FNIRS and LEP recording, participants were required either to remain in resting relaxed condition or to execute a finger tapping task with the right hand. In the control group, the left motor cortex showed increased oxyhaemoglobin levels, while the early N1 LEP component was reduced, during the finger tapping task. In FM patients, motor cortex oxyhaemoglobin concentrations were lower during movement, which did not reduce LEPs. The left motor cortex oxyhaemoglobin concentrations had 79.2% diagnostic accuracy. The interplay between motor and pain-related circuits seems to be dysfunctional in FM patients. These results may support a role for motor cortex modulation in the treatment of this disabling disease.
KEY WORDS: fibromyalgia, functional near-infrared spectroscopy, laser-evoked potentials, motor cortex, somatosensory cortex.