PainRelief.com Interview with:
Jeungchan Lee, Ph.D.,
MGH/HST Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical ImagingSpaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Charlestown, MA 024129
PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown promise in alleviating fibromyalgia (FM) symptoms by targeting pain-related catastrophizing, which comprises negative cognitive and emotional processes amplifying pain perception.
However, the neurological mechanisms underlying CBT’s impact on pain catastrophizing in FM patients have remained unclear.
PainRelief.com: What are the main findings?
Response: In this randomized controlled neuroimaging trial, Cognitive behavioral therapy demonstrated its superiority over an education-based treatment in reducing pain interference and improving the functional impact of fibromyalgia. Within the CBT group, these improvements were partly attributed to reductions in catastrophizing, a cognitive distortion associated with pain perception.
Additionally, Cognitive behavioral therapy treatment led to changes in the connectivity of the Default Mode Network (DMN) with pain-related brain circuitry, possibly indicating shifts in somatic self-awareness.
PainRelief.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) appears to yield clinical benefits by reducing pain-related catastrophizing and inducing adaptive changes in the functional connectivity of the default mode network in the brain.
PainRelief.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Future studies could enhance their methodology by incorporating long-term post-treatment neuroimaging assessments to better understand the underlying mechanisms of benefits and therapeutic components of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Moreover, catastrophizing may serve as a vital phenotyping variable to guide treatment selection and as a crucial process variable for investigating brain activity and connectivity during the pain catastrophizing experiences that play a pivotal role in shaping long-term pain-related outcomes.
No potential conflicts of interest
Lee, J., Lazaridou, A., Paschali, M., Loggia, M.L., Berry, M.P., Ellingsen, D.-M., Isenburg, K., Anzolin, A., Grahl, A., Wasan, A.D., Napadow, V. and Edwards, R.R. (2023), A Randomized, Controlled Neuroimaging Trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Fibromyalgia Pain. Arthritis Rheumatol. Accepted Author Manuscript. https://doi.org/10.1002/art.42672
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Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by PainRelief.com