Category Archives: General Health News

News releases and reports on general health topics

FM CONFERENCE AND PAMPERS 2011 ANOTHER BIG HIT

By Jeanne Hambleton ©
The Fibromyalgia Conference and Pamper Weekend in April on the south coast was another great success inspite of cancellations by the Americans. Described as a ‘coalition’ conference many Group Leaders played a major part in collecting stage payments at group meetings over several months, to enable delegates to come to conference. Without the support of those Leaders, many living on benefits would have been unable to come. Others found their local Rotary Club willing to help fund their visit to the conference. So many people pulled together to make it happen and during the ‘fond farewell’ it was clear that they all enjoyed themselves. Continue reading

Fibromyalgia Affects Mental Health of Those Diagnosed and Their Spouses

(Apr. 30, 2010) — Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes chronic, widespread pain throughout the body. In a new study, University of Missouri researchers are examining how the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia can affect marriages. Initial findings reveal that diagnosed spouses have considerably higher levels of depressive symptoms and pain and report more marital instability and anger than their spouses. For both spouses, the symptoms can trigger increased emotional withdrawal and mental strain. Continue reading

Laser Therapy and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia, also called muscular rheumatism or musculoskeletal pain syndrome, is a chronic disorder of the muscles and other body tissue. A person suffering from fibromyalgia typically experiences muscle pain, fatigue, sleeping problems and many tender points on the body. The pain from this disorder can make everyday activities difficult and seriously disrupt a person’s life. Though scientists believe that injury, trauma, infection, or a chemical imbalance may contribute to fibromyalgia, the cause for this autoimmune disorder is unknown.
Allopathic treatments for managing the pain of fibromyalgia include taking low doses of tricyclic antidepressants, drugs ordinarily used to treat depression. These drugs may work by reducing or blocking the re-uptake of serotonin, the neurotransmitters that affect mood.

Cortisone medication can be injected directly into the site of tender tissue to relieve pain or spasms.
Many people with fibromyalgia are looking for less invasive treatments or to avoid drug interactions and side effects. Laser therapy is a fast-growing treatment option and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for short-term pain management. Several scientific studies have found this treatment to be safe and effective for treating pain, fatigue and other symptoms of fibromyalgia.
What is Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy, also called cold laser therapy or low level laser therapy (LLLT), involves the application of low-intensity lasers to specific areas of the body to stimulate endorphins. These endorphins, naturally present in the brain and adrenal glands, help block transmission of pain signals to the brain and relax the patient. Laser therapy is a non-invasive alternative to needle acupuncture and is said to excite energy between acupoints in much the same way.
When low level lasers are applied directly to tender points, the light energy emitted can accelerate cell growth. This growth promotes healing in painful, damaged tissue. Lasers stimulate blood and lymph circulation, as well as improve nerve function in these areas. Laser therapy is also used to treat other types of chronic or acute pain, especially pain that occurs with conditions such as arthritis, tendinitis, and migraines.
What Happens at a Laser Therapy Treatment Session?
Although laser therapy treatments may vary, the following methods seem to apply to most laser therapy facilities. At a typical session, a practitioner applies a low-intensity or cold laser directly to the skin at certain points of the body. In therapy sessions for conditions like chronic pain, lasers are applied directly to the affected area.
A practitioner will lightly press the laser to tender areas. The application of lasers on the skin emits photons–the carriers of electromagnetic energy in light–directly into body tissue at the cellular level. These photons are then absorbed into cells, where physiological changes can occur. The goal of these changes is to relax the patient, restore a peaceful balance and relieve pain.
A session generally lasts between 10 and 20 minutes, but can vary with the specific conditions being treated. Several treatments may be necessary to relieve the acute pain of fibromyalgia. Laser therapy is not a cure for this disorder—however, its success in the temporary relief of pain has been shown in numerous studies.
Laser therapy is non-invasive and pain-free. A person undergoing laser therapy might feel a tingling or slight burning sensation on the skin, but practitioners say this is normal. The low intensity lasers used in laser therapy do not produce thermal energy and cannot burn the skin. Safety glasses can be worn to protect the eyes from laser light.
Is Laser Therapy Safe?
The FDA has approved the use of low level lasers for temporary relief of chronic or acute pain, including the pain associated with fibromyalgia. Several studies have shown this treatment to be an effective alternative to allopathic methods with few, if any, side effects. One study showed significant improvements in patients with fibromyalgia with daily laser treatments for two weeks. At the end of the study, those who underwent laser therapy reported having less pain, fatigue, morning stiffness, and depression.
You should discuss all alternative or complementary treatments with your physician prior to beginning treatment. A doctor can help you decide which treatments are right for you, and determine their safety based on your individual medical condition. People with certain eye or skin conditions should avoid laser therapy.
Where Can I Find Laser Therapy Treatments?
Some chiropractic practices, physical therapy facilities, and alternative medicine centers offer laser therapy treatments. Check local facilities to find skilled laser therapy practitioners near you.

FDA slaps Eli Lilly for ‘false or misleading claims’ in ads for Cymbalta

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has slapped drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. on the wrist for making “false or misleading claims” in advertisements for Cymbalta, a drug for pain and anxiety relief.

Specifically, the FDA cited Lilly for omitting and minimizing risk information about the drug, and overstating the drug’s efficacy, according to a copy of an undated letter the FDA sent to the drugmaker.

The FDA instructed Lilly to stop disseminating the ads in question and send it a letter by Jan. 22 saying whether the company intends to follow the FDA’s orders. A Lilly spokesman didn’t immediately return a call.

In one print ad that featured a woman curled up on a couch seemingly holding her knee in pain, Lilly failed to communicate risk information in the main part of the ad, the FDA said. Potential adverse reactions to the drug include nausea, headache, dry mouth, insomnia, constipation, fatigue, diarrhea, decreased appetite, dizziness and somnolence.

Another ad, which appeared in the WebMD Little Blue Book of Rheumatology, “misleadingly minimizes the serious risks” associated with the drug. The same ad overstates the efficacy of the drug in treating fibromyalgia, a condition marked by chronic pain of the muscles, tendons and joints, by implying that over half of fibromyalgia patients treated with Cymbalta will achieve a 30 percent improvement in pain. No data exists to support that claim, the FDA said.

In addition to the enforcement letter on Cymbalta, the FDA sent out similar letters to three other drugmakers: Cephalon for its lymphoma treatment Treanda; Bayer for birth-control implant Mirena; and Amylin Pharmaceuticals for diabetes drug Byetta, the Boston Globe reported. Lilly partners with Amylin on Byetta.

Insecure Teens Feel More Pain, Are More Likely to Be Anxious

December 8, 2009 — Insecure adolescents feel more intense pain and are more likely to be anxious and depressed than their secure counterparts, new research suggests.

The results of a large survey study suggest that interventions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), that target certain attachment styles might be beneficial in teens.

“We might need to start to look at interpersonal factors like attachment styles if we want to create lasting changes in our interventions,” study author Michael J. L. Sullivan, PhD, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, told Medscape Psychiatry.



The study was published online October 23 in the Journal of Pain.

For the study, researchers analyzed questionnaire responses from 382 high school students (223 female and 159 male). Participants were in grades 8 to 12 and had a mean age of 14.4 years.

To determine frequency and intensity of pain symptoms, researchers asked students how many times they had experienced 10 of the most frequent types of pain during the last 10 months and to rate the pain severity on an 11-point scale.

Researchers used another questionnaire to assess pain “catastrophizing” or the tendency to see symptoms as threatening or stressful. Students indicated the frequency with which they experienced each of 13 pain-related thoughts or feelings on a 5-point scale. The scale measures rumination, magnification, and helplessness.

Investigators also used the 18-item Adolescent Relationship Scale Questionnaire to assess attachment styles of students.

These styles included:

• Secure (finding it easy to get emotionally close to others);

• Preoccupied (wanting to be completely emotionally close with others);

• Fearful (worrying about being hurt if too close to others); and

• Dismissing (finding it very important to feel independent).

Students also completed questionnaires to measure the severity of symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Girls Feel More Pain

Girls in the study reported greater pain severity, pain catastrophizing, and depression than boys and had higher scores on the rumination, magnification, and helplessness subscales. Boys scored higher than girls on dismissing attachment style.

The study found various relationships between attachment styles and anxiety, depression, and pain. A secure attachment style was associated with low levels of pain catastrophizing, anxiety, pain severity, and depression, whereas preoccupied and fearful attachment styles were associated with heightened pain catastrophizing, anxiety, pain severity, and depression.

“When you start to interpret your symptoms in a more alarmist or threatening fashion, there’s a whole cascade of negative psychological and physiological events that can occur,” said Dr. Sullivan.

“If you’re experiencing pain, the more you attend to it the more you’re actually going to be experiencing more intense pain and the more you’re going to be focusing on the negative aspects of your symptoms. Over time, that might also have a wearing effect on your mood, leading to increases in anxiety and depression.”

Results Helpful

Although it is probably expected that a secure attachment is linked to lower levels of anxiety and depression, the finding that this attachment style is related to pain severity was surprising, said Katie Cullen, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis. “We wouldn’t necessarily have known what to expect with the pain, so that was really helpful,” she said.

Dr. Cullen, who was not involved in the study, runs a depression clinic, whereas her colleague, Gail A. Bernstein, MD, professor and head, Program in Child and Adolescent Anxiety and Mood Disorders, University of Minnesota Medical School, runs an anxiety clinic. Young people often present to both clinics with pain symptoms.

Insecure adolescents experience more intense pain in the form of frequent headaches, abdominal pain, and joint pain. About 20% to 25% of adolescents experience recurrent or chronic pain, according to background information in the study.

Dr. Cullen said this statistic is potentially useful in raising awareness among specialists treating teens.

In discussing the physiological mechanisms by which catastrophic thinking might influence pain severity, the study authors note that high catastrophizing has been linked to lower pain threshold and lower pain tolerance. Those with high catastrophizing show enhanced activity in brain regions involved in anticipating and attention toward pain.

Move Beyond Current CBT Model

In this study, anxiety also tended to mediate the relationship between attachment styles and both pain severity and depression. These findings suggest that anxiety, pain catastrophizing, and attachment styles are related processes that make independent contributions to the prediction of pain severity and depression.

Although the study looked at attachment styles of teenagers, these styles typically begin in infancy. “There are still a lot of holes in our knowledge in this area, but there are some fairly strong indications that the style of attachment that you develop with your parents early on is something that follows you through the rest of your life,” said Dr. Sullivan.

The study results could affect the type of interventions used to treat teens. Current cognitive behavioral interventions focus on altering catastrophic thinking but not on attachment styles that drive that thinking. Often, the positive results from such therapy do not last, said Dr. Sullivan. “This suggests that while catastrophizing is definitely one of the factors contributing to negative outcomes, it might not be the ultimate source.”

He added that it is important to “move beyond” current CBT models that might be overly simplistic. “I would strongly suspect that over the next decade, we will start to see a lot more research looking at how different interpersonal processes impact on health outcomes.”

Dr. Bernstein said she found the results “intriguing and interesting” and the sample size “impressive.” “They have a big enough sample to be drawing some conclusions, and I think it’s something that will perhaps lead to further exploration in this area.”

The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Journal of Pain. Published online October 23, 2009.

The 7 foods experts won’t eat

How healthy (or not) certain foods are—for us, for the environment—is a hotly debated topic among experts and consumers alike, and there are no easy answers. But when Prevention talked to the people at the forefront of food safety and asked them one simple question—“What foods do you avoid?”—we got some pretty interesting answers. Although these foods don’t necessarily make up a “banned” list, as you head into the holidays—and all the grocery shopping that comes with it—their answers are, well, food for thought:

20 ways to feed your family for $100 a week.

1. Canned Tomatoes

The expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A

The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”

The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe’s and Pomi.

14 worst health mistakes even smart women make.

2. Corn-Fed Beef

The expert: Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming

The problem: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. More money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. “We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure,” says Salatin.

The solution: Buy grass-fed beef, which can be found at specialty grocers, farmers’ markets, and nationally at Whole Foods. It’s usually labeled because it demands a premium, but if you don’t see it, ask your butcher.

25 ridiculously healthy foods you should be eating now.

3. Microwave Popcorn

The expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group,

The problem: Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize—and migrate into your popcorn. “They stay in your body for years and accumulate there,” says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.

The solution: Pop natural kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix.

Your nutritional guide to grocery shopping.

4. Nonorganic Potatoes

The expert: Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board

The problem: Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes—the nation’s most popular vegetable—they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting. “Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won’t,” says Moyer, who is also farm director of the Rodale Institute (also owned by Rodale Inc., the publisher of Prevention). “I’ve talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.”

The solution: Buy organic potatoes. Washing isn’t good enough if you’re trying to remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh.

14 ways to make veggies less boring.

5. Farmed Salmon

The expert: David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and publisher of a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish.

The problem: Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. “You can only safely eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer,” says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. “It’s that bad.” Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.

The solution: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon.
Delicious and easy fish recipes

6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones

The expert: Rick North, project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility and former CEO of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society

The problem: Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. “When the government approved rBGH, it was thought that IGF-1 from milk would be broken down in the human digestive tract,” says North. As it turns out, the casein in milk protects most of it, according to several independent studies. “There’s not 100% proof that this is increasing cancer in humans,” admits North. “However, it’s banned in most industrialized countries.”

The solution: Check labels for rBGH-free, rBST-free, produced without artificial hormones, or organic milk. These phrases indicate rBGH-free products.
Don’t be fooled by these 11 health food imposters.

7. Conventional Apples

The expert: Mark Kastel, former executive for agribusiness and codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods

The problem: If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it’s just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples. “Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers,” he says. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides (from all sources) with Parkinson’s disease.

The solution: Buy organic apples. If you can’t afford organic, be sure to wash and peel them first.

$100 Million for Innovative Lupus Research

December 8, 2009—It was announced last night that over the past decade, the Lupus Research Institute (LRI)’s pioneering science has generated $100 million in new research funding for the devastating autoimmune disease of systemic lupus.

“In powering unprecedented scientific discovery, the LRI has forever changed the field of lupus research,” said LRI Board Member Richard K. DeScherer at the annual S.L.E. Lupus Foundation gala in New York. “LRI scientists have turned $30 million dollars in initial LRI grant funding into $70 million more from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“That’s what we call a breakthrough decade!” he said. “An incredible $100 million dollars for entirely new science in lupus–-innovative work that would not exist without the LRI taking risks on the most brilliant scientific minds in the country.”

“The LRI strategy of funding novel scientific ideas in lupus has more than demonstrated its power,” said William E. Paul, MD, chief of the Laboratory of Immunology at NIAID-NIH, and chair of the LRI Scientific Advisory Board. “The LRI model strengthens the lupus research landscape by moving novel concepts forward to secure large-scale federal funding.”

“The speed with which the Institute has changed the outlook for lupus research is remarkable,” Dr. Paul said.

The LRI selects Novel Research Grant awards based on creativity, novelty, and potential to drive scientific discovery. To date, the Institute has awarded $30 million to 108 investigators at 55 academic medical centers across 22 states.

More than 65 percent of LRI-funded researchers have gone on to win extended funding from the NIH to further pursue their work, including:

* Betty Diamond, MD, at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research (North Shore-LIJ Health System) in New York. The LRI funded Dr. Diamond’s initial work on the role of stress hormones in allowing toxic antibodies to penetrate the brain in lupus and destroy nerve cells there, causing memory loss, confusion, and other cognitive problems. She went on to receive an NIH program grant for $6.5 million to build on strategies to deal with this devastating development.
* Marcus Clark, MD, at the University of Chicago. With LRI funding, Dr. Clark showed that the kidneys of people with lupus actually contain the activated B cells that directly promote inflammation and damage in these critical organs. The NIH provided an additional $1.7 million to further explain and expand on this major discovery. “This government grant was funded based entirely on research supported by the LRI,” Dr. Clark said.
* Greg E. Lemke, PhD, at La Jolla, California’s Salk Institute for Biologic Studies. Dr. Lemke proposed the novel idea that a curious family of “TAM” receptors might function as a core ‘control switch’ over the immune system’s inflammatory response. He received an additional $1.4 million from the NIH and others to explore exciting new approaches to shutting down the uncontrolled inflammation of lupus by restoring immune system regulation. “Without the LRI, this project would have stopped—and a fundamental discovery in immunology would not have happened,” Dr. Lemke said.

“What an incredible investment the LRI has been,” said LRI Co-Chairman Robert J. Ravitz. “It has paid off in a decade of stellar return on results that matter for people with lupus, and my wife and I now have such hope that our daughter Annie and millions of others will soon have answers on how to stop lupus.”

LRI President Margaret G. Dowd added, “We are so very grateful to our supporters for believing and investing in LRI’s powerful research model for breakthroughs in lupus. Their bold commitment is enabling innovative science to successfully blaze the path to a cure and a hope-filled new decade for people with this devastating disease.”

Appetite Hormone May Play a Role in the Development of Osteoarthritis

New research suggests that the appetite-regulating hormone leptin may play a role in the long-recognized connection between obesity and osteoarthritis (OA). The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown and loss of cartilage and the formation of bony overgrowths in the joints.

Scientists have long known that obesity is the number one preventable risk factor for osteoarthritis, but only in recent years have they ramped up research to understand how obesity and OA are connected.

Traditionally, the connection was assumed to be related to wear and tear. More weight meant a greater load for the joints to bear. But the wear-and-tear theory did not explain why joints in the hand, which do not bear weight, are also affected by OA. To better understand the systemic role obesity might play, Farshid Guilak, Ph.D., director of orthopaedic research in the Department of Surgery at Duke University, and his colleagues studied obese mice.

In their new study, supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, the group studied mice genetically engineered to lack either leptin or leptin receptors on the cells.

Leptin acts in the brain to control appetite, but to do so it must bind to receptors on cells. Removing either the molecule or the receptor has virtually the same effect — no functioning leptin. And for the mice studied, the result of no functioning leptin was a body weight approximately four times that of normal mice — which would seem like the ideal model for studying obesity-related OA. But, the mice didn’t develop OA at all. In fact, their joint cartilage was just as healthy, if not more so, than that of normal mice.

Researchers say if they can better understand the molecular mechanisms involved in OA, they may be better able to interfere with them and perhaps prevent the disease or stop its progression.

The Arthritis Foundation also provided funding for this study.

The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health, is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. For more information about NIAMS, call the information clearinghouse at (301) 495-4484 or (877) 22-NIAMS (free call) or visit the NIAMS Web site at http://www.niams.nih.gov

Fibromyalgia Patients Show Decreases In Gray Matter Intensity

ScienceDaily (June 18, 2009) — Previous studies have shown that fibromyalgia is associated with reductions in gray matter in parts of the brain, but the exact cause is not known. Using sophisticated brain imaging techniques, researchers from Louisiana State University, writing in The Journal of Pain, found that alterations in levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine might be responsible for gray matter reductions.

For the study, magnetic imaging resonance data from 30 female fibromyalgia patients were compared with 20 healthy women of the same age. The primary objective of the study was to confirm original findings about reduced gray matter density in a larger sample of fibromyalgia patients. They explored whether there is a correlation between dopamine metabolic activity and variations in the density of gray matter in specific brain regions.

Results showed there were significant gray matter reductions in the fibromyalgia patients, which supports previous research. In addition, the fibromyalgia patients showed a strong correlation of dopamine metabolism levels and gray matter density in parts of the brain in which dopamine controls neurological activity.

The authors concluded that the connection between dopamine levels and gray matter density provide novel insights to a possible mechanism that explains some of the abnormal brain morphology associated with fibromyalgia.