Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain LIFE Spring 2015, Issue 11 - Page 12

Research Update function of NREM and lead to the development of FM symptoms. They proposed that the FM symptom complex should be considered a “nonrestorative sleep syndrome.” The results of their study supported the hypothesis that a disorder of serotonin metabolism serves as a basis for both the EEG sleep disturbance and FM. D ecades have passed since Dr. Moldofsky’s original work, and the debate continues regarding whether FM is caused by some kind of sleep disturbance. Many new scientific discoveries have been made involving sleep and its significance in preserving and instilling good health. Dr. Victor Rosenfeld, a neurologist and sleep expert from the SouthCoast Health in Savannah, Georgia published an article in the September 2014 Journal of Neurophysiology entitled “Polysomnography with Quatititative EEG in Patients with and without Fibromyalgia.” I n essence, Dr. Rosenfeld replicated Dr. Moldofsky’s work using a newer technique called quantitative electroencephelopgraphy (qEEG), which essentially allows computerized analysis of the deep sleep disruptions called alpha intrusions, as opposed to the painstaking analysis by Moldofsky which was done by hand. In addition, Dr Rosenfeld discovered a high prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in his FM study subjects. 12  Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Life O bstructive sleep apnea impacts autonomic arousal which is mediated by the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS which acts unconsciously and regulates heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, papillary response, urination and sexual arousal, and is the primary mechanism in control of the fight-or-flight response. This significant finding is now being reported in recent studies around the globe in patients with FM. P olysomnography (PSG) is a comprehensive recording of the biophysiological changes that occur during sleep. It is usually performed at night during sleep in a special laboratory, sometimes utilizing a hotel room type setting in order to help patients feel at ease and better able to sleep in a foreign environment. The PSG monitors many body functions including brain EEG, eye movements, muscle activity, snoring, EKG, during sleep. Since sleep apnea was identified in the 1970s, breathing functions respiratory airflow and respiratory effort indicators have been added along with peripheral pulse oximetry, the measurement of oxygen saturation of the blood. D r. Rosenfeld’s study objective was to characterize the polysomnographic and quantitative electroencephalographic (qEEG) features of FM and determine if patients differ in these measures when compared to a control group of sleep disorder patients. The study was performed at a community-based sleep medicine center, and the Sp r i n g 2 0 1 5 patients underwent polysomnography over a two-year period. The research subjects underwent all-night polysomnography for evaluation of a sleep disorder and FM. The resulting polysomnograms w