Patients with fibromyalgia (FM) have diffuse musculoskeletal pain; half report concomitant intolerance for low levels of environmental chemicals (CI). Previous investigators have hypothesized that the chronic pain and chemical intolerance reflect sensitization of different central nervous system limbic and/or mesolimbic reward pathways. We evaluated electroencephalographic (EEG) beta activity and blood glucose responses of FM patients with and without CI and normals during three repeated sucrose ingestion sessions and during a final, water-only session (testing for conditioning). The FM with CI exhibited oscillation (reversal in direction of change from session to session) at rest and then sensitization (progressive amplification) of EEG beta 1 over time across the 3 sucrose sessions versus controls. FM with CI showed sensitization of blood glucose over the 3 sucrose sessions, which, like the EEG findings, reverted toward baseline in the final water-only session. The data suggest that the subset of FM patients with CI have increased susceptibility to oscillation and physiological sensitization without conditioning, perhaps contributing to fluctuations in their chronic course.
- Beta 1
- Blood glucose
- Chemical intolerance and sensitivity
- Time-dependent sensitization
ASJC Scopus subject areas