In looking at the brain as the problem with fibromyalgia patients, I came across an abstract, “Alterations in Gray Matter Volume are Associated with Reduced Evoked-Pain Connectivity following Acute Pregabalin Administration” (see Puiu et al in library). Yeah…
So first of all, pregabalin has nothing to do with Thanksgiving turkeys. The brand name is Lyrica, one of those heavily advertised drugs with the auctioneer at the end mumbling through side effects. The study, published in January this year, looks at how pregabalin works, and that’s what’s interesting.
Apparently, taking pregabalin for a short time actually causes changes in the brain which correspond with pain reduction. It’s a little confusing, because taking the drug caused a reduction in gray matter in the bilateral posterior insula and the medial frontal gyrus, both of which are areas that are named as having reduced gray matter in fibromyalgia already. Reducing it more decreases pain? I may be reading it wrong, but “Short-term PGB treatment alters brain structure and evoked-pain connectivity, and these decreases were associated with reduced clinical pain.” Seems pretty straightforward.
So it’s more to think about. The chicken and the egg – brain vs pain article is still forthcoming. By the way, I haven’t tried Lyrica – it was cost prohibitive.