Juvenile Fibromyalgia: New Study Analyzes Brain Changes

Juvenile Fibromyalgia

Brain News – A study examines the early symptoms of juvenile fibromyalgia (JFM) in adolescents. It says the disease is caused by structural changes in the brain areas associated with pain, fatigue, and cognition.

Researchers of neuroscience at the University of Barcelona provide interesting insights into the early symptoms of juvenile fibromyalgia (JFM).

Juvenile fibromyalgia (JFM) is a syndrome in children and adolescents, characterized by chronic body pain. It also causes fatigue, sleeplessness, mood disorders, and other emotional problems.

The study observed 72 adolescents, male and female, with JFM. They underwent a structural magnetic resonance imaging examination and completed questionnaires assessing core juvenile fibromyalgia symptoms. The researchers also observed other factors associated with JFM, such as fatigue, body pain, functional disabilities, cognitive abilities, negative emotions, and self-perception.

The findings, published in Arthritis and Rheumatology, analyzes the brain changes that occur in the first stages of JFM.

The results reveal that adolescents with JFM have less grey matter in the anterior-midcingulate cortex (MCC) region, a brain region which processes pain. This can be attributed to structural changes in the brain.

The most affected participants also show an increase of volume in the frontal regions of the brain. These brain areas are associated with a person’s self-perception and emotional processing. The number of juvenile fibromyalgia symptoms show an increase with the severity of the disease. The researchers also found significant similarities between juvenile and adult fibromyalgia.

They are enthusiastic that studies like this can help better understand the pathophysiology of this syndrome.

Detecting the early symptoms of JFM in structural changes in the brain and their manifestations (in emotional, self-perception, and linguistic abilities) can help predict the disease’s impact on the patient’s wellbeing. This research can help devise efficient treatment methods that will prevent more severe brain changes later on.

One of the lead researchers, Marina López Solà said, “Therefore, it is important to promote the early and guided study of pathology in adolescents in order to prevent the transition from juvenile to adult fibromyalgia.”

To Know More You May Refer To

Suñol, M., Payne, M. F., Tong, H., Maloney, T. C., Ting, T. V., Kashikar-Zuck, S., Coghill, R. C., & López-Solà, M. (2022). Brain Structural Changes during Juvenile Fibromyalgia: Relationships with Pain, Fatigue and Functional Disability. Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, N.J.), 10.1002/art.42073. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/art.42073

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