THIS EXPLAINS A LOT! Fibromyalgia may shrink the brain

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by meowee, May 16, 2009.

  1. meowee

    meowee New Member

    Professor: Fibromyalgia may shrink the brain

    By Diane Chun
    Staff writer

    Published: Friday, May 15, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
    Last Modified: Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 11:17 p.m.

    For those who suffer from fibromyalgia, the unrelenting pain affects every aspect of daily life.

    Now research shows that, over time, chronic pain can actually shrink the brain.

    Dr. Roland Staud of the University of Florida College of Medicine will explain this and other new directions in understanding and treating fibromyalgia Saturday at the McKnight Brain Institute.

    "We've found a reduction in gray matter in 11 different areas of the brain (in chronic pain patients). We cannot yet determine whether this is a cause or a consequence of fibromyalgia," Staud said.

    An estimated three to six of every 100 Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, marked by continuous, unexplainable pain throughout the body.

    The cause is unknown and diagnosis is difficult.

    The pain is often accompanied by fatigue, depression, digestive disorders, anxiety, sleeping problems, cognitive impairment and other symptoms, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association.

    Studies have shown that the loss of gray matter was three times greater in fibromyalgia patients than in normal test subjects.

    The longer the chronic pain had lasted, the more gray matter was lost.

    "It shows the considerable truth of the old maxim 'Use it or lose it,' " Staud noted.

    The rheumatologist and professor of medicine is among a group of researchers seeking to understand the elusive condition.

    The finding that the brains of fibromyalgia patients are actually getting smaller is troubling, Staud said.

    "We want to see if the loss can be reversed or if the decline can be stopped at this point," he said.

    Stress is a critical factor in chronic pain, he explained, and if a person has continual pain, it results in a decline in brain function. Staud speculates that as brain tissue shrinks, it may make that person more prone to pain, as well.

    "We want to identify and treat fibromyalgia patients as early as possible," he said. "Stress reduction is an essential approach in order to succeed."
  2. jmq

    jmq New Member

    Yeah, my brain is shrinking and my body is blowing up!

    However, I refuse to give up. I try to keep my mind busy...on the computer, reading when I can, doing crafty things when I can....

    and now I am going in the pool and exercising and cutting back on bad foods.

    I see a difference in my brain...but not my body yet.


  3. hatbox121

    hatbox121 New Member

    This is a very interesting find! See, I knew something was going on in my brain. No wonder I feel like I'm losing it, I AM!!!!!!
  4. outofstep

    outofstep Member

    an overview:
  5. meowee

    meowee New Member

    I appreciate all your responses.
  6. Doober

    Doober New Member

    with FM??

    WOW, now I can finally tell my wife that I DO have an excuse now for all those times that she though I only had a half of a brain....................
  7. lynncats

    lynncats New Member

    Not sure if you wanted that to be funny or not, but it put a smile on my face, can't wait to show my hubby these post. He's always teasing me about my "brain" not working on a full level, LOL. We do have a great relationship, so his teasing me, is somehow, how I get thru some of this DD. He by any means, doesn't mean any harm. Take care!!!!!


    [This Message was Edited on 05/21/2009]
  8. Doober

    Doober New Member

    And we all know how much we need to keep our sense of humor in all of this..

    We get enough grief and "mouth" from those that do not deal with FM, CFS or any other autoimmune diseases/syndromes/dis-orders.

    If we don't amuse ourselves every now and then, we forget that we are humans too and allow others to dictate certain aspects of our lives.

    And dag-nabbit, we will not allow others to feel superior over us!!!!!!!!!!

    By the way, I take nothing personal or the wrong way because most of here know what the other person is trying to say most of the time.
  9. lynncats

    lynncats New Member

    cool, I was worried you'd take it wrong!! I'm like you, if we don't amuse ourselves then no-one will. Always, always remember, we are humans, and if the "normal" ones had to live one day in our shoes, they would flip out!! P.S. I love your name!! I was thinking of changing mine to "doobie", LOL!!!

    Have a great one!!!
  10. Doober

    Doober New Member

    I picked Doober because I thought it had a nice ring to it. And also, it is kinda hard to really come up with something totally original or really think of a screen name when you find these types of forums and are impatient to get in. I looked this up and found that Doober is a type of sleeve that goes on an adjustment strap of a baseball cap.

    Also in the Urban Dictionary I found some pretty definitions.

    Imagine if you went with that name and then trying to post on the Medical MJ posts. I think I get some questionable looks at my name when I reply to them myself.....LOL
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Is showing that men who didn't reture but continued working past age 65 are delaying the average onset of Alzheimers and other dimentia symptoms. Neurons which fire together wire together. We become "hard wired" after performing the same tasks over and over. This can be beneficial because it can save time. It's how pilots train for emergencies.

    We also need to exercise the brain by making new neural connections. This can be done by solving puzzles, learning something new, and physical exercise. Eating good food is a given.

    Using the nondominant hand to perform tasks also makes new neural connections. About ten or eleven years ago, I ruptured the bicep tendon in my right arm. I had surgery and was in a cast/sling for months. It prevented doing anything with my right hand. Peopl would see my cast and ask if I were right handed. I would laugh and respond, "I used to be!"

    I had to learn to print so I could continue working (this was just before I crashed and had to retire). I got to where I could put on makeup and style my hair with only my left hand. It was amazing how much I could function that way. Strangely, I could not put in my contacts. I wore my glasses until I could use both hands. My contacts are monovision and depend on the brain's being hard wired to accept only reading info from my right eye and distance info from the left. The brain receives info from both eyes for in between. Being able to adjust to monovision depends on the dominant hand and how one's brain is wired. Some never adjust and cannot wear monvision contacts. It took awhile for me to adjust back to wearing them because my brain was starting to rewire toward being left handed. It's fascinating how this works. But, I digress...(as I usually do :)

    It truly is use it or lose it. My memory is shot when I'm run down but the memories are often just below the surface. I do puzzles and I'm learning Spanish from my coworkers. We don't have many who speak French left, but when I am working with someone who speaks it, I try to learn more. I am such a gringa, nobody is whiter than I am, and it is funny when Hispanics come in and I speak Spanish to them. It shocks them and then we laugh. OK, I've drolled on long enough.

    Love, Mikie
  12. MaxieJap

    MaxieJap New Member

    I was at a high school reunion recently and several of us were sitting at the beach. A man came over and introduced himself as someone's brother. I asked how that someone was doing, and he looked at me strangely. He said that someone was sitting across from me and I had been talking to him for the past 2 hours. I laughed it off as a senior moment, but it really did put the fear of the Lord in me. I was 55.