Does some RA pain come from the brain?

The first neuroimaging study on patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) suggests some of them may be experiencing fibromyalgia-like pain arising in the brain.

The results may explain why some patients continue to report pain despite “excellent control of their peripheral inflammation”, the Scottish and US authors suggest.

Building on recent research using functional connectivity MRI that shows fibromyalgia is associated with increased communication between two brain networks, the authors looked for similar connectivity increases in 54 patients with RA who also reported fatigue.

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