Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain LIFE Mar/Apr 2013, Issue 8 - Page 17

others. Dr. C lauw described the change in brain networks p r i m a r i l y i nv o l v e d i n p a i n processing as “turning up the volume,” such that pain is perceived even in the presence of minimal or no stimulation, and felt at a much higher level than would normally be the case. His team has also related the fMRI changes to chemical changes in the brain that are involved in pain processing, confirming the “turned-up volume” in people with chronic pain. to cause fibromyalgia, as well as the fact that family members of fibromyalg ia patients are much more likely to exper ience the disease, as compared to the inherited trend in other disease states – 8 times more likely with fibromyalgia versus 2 to 3 times in other similar disease states. Dr. Gendreau als o rev ie we d the non-dr u g treatment options and what is known about their relative success in addressing common symptoms of fibromyalgia. tr ials knowing whether they are in a treatment or untreated (“sham”) group. Of particular note, the uniqueness of this sig nal differentiates it from other brain stimulation waveforms and should not be confused with those used to treat d e p r e s s i o n , i n c l u d i n g e l e ctroconvulsive therapy (ECT ). He rev ie we d the main mes sages conveyed in reviews of a Phase II RINCE study presented at the American College of Rheumatology annual meetings in 2010, 2011, and 2012. D r. Gendreau related the ways that the three approved drugs for fibromyalgia impact pain processing, their relative e f fe c t i v e n e s s , a n d c o m m o n side effects. He also discussed how some of the other drugs commonly used by fibromyalg ia patients impact the pain process and perception of pain. Both he and Dr. Clauw reviewed what is known about the events or exposures that are believed D r. Har g rove des c r ib e d the principle behind R INC E (R e duce d Imp e d ance Noninvasive Cortical Electrostimulation) – and the fact that it involves a single EEG-type electrode placed at the top and back of the skull and a ground electrode attached to the ear. Importantly, the signal cannot be felt, so there were minimal side effects reported, and no chance of patients in T he Phase II study was conducted a number of years ago and involved 77 patients in the Flint , Michigan, area- h a l f o f w h o m re ce i ve d t h e RINCE treatment and half who did not receive the signal. The shor t- ter m results from the study indicated that the people treated with RINCE experienced significant reductions in their pain and improvements in their Mar/Apr 2013 Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Life 17