The new research moves understanding of the condition a step further, by exploring what's happening in the brain during a resting state.
"Regardless of poking or prodding them, this study is trying to get at an understanding of what is crackling in the brain, intrinsically, such that they have this higher sensitivity," Mease said.
About 10 million Americans are believed to have fibromyalgia, almost 90 percent of whom are women, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association. Sufferers report a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for at least three months, and pain in at least 11 of 18 "tender points."
Read more about fibromyalgia at the National Fibromyalgia Association.
SOURCES: Vitaly Napadow, Ph.D, neuroscientist and assistant professor, radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Philip Mease, M.D., director, rheumatology research, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, and member, National Fibromyalgia Association medical advisory board; August 2010 Arthritis & Rheumatism
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