Table of Contents
Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2019, Article ID 2623161, 7 pages
Research Article

Motor Cortex Function in Fibromyalgia: A Study by Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

1Applied Neurophysiology and Pain Unit, SMBNOS Department, Bari Aldo Moro University, Polyclinic General Hospital, Via Amendola 207 A, 70123 Bari, Italy
2Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neurosciences (BioNeC), University of Palermo, Via del Vespro 143, 90127 Palermo, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Marina de Tommaso; ti.abinu@osammoted.aniram

Received 25 July 2018; Accepted 31 December 2018; Published 16 January 2019

Academic Editor: Hartmut Göbel

Copyright © 2019 Eleonora Gentile et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Previous studies indicated changes of motor cortex excitability in fibromyalgia (FM) patients and the positive results of transcranial stimulation techniques. The present study aimed to explore the metabolism of motor cortex in FM patients, in resting state and during slow and fast finger tapping, using functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), an optical method which detects in real time the metabolism changes in the cortical tissue. We studied 24 FM patients and 24 healthy subjects. We found a significant slowness of motor speed in FM patients compared to controls. During resting state and slow movement conditions, the metabolism of the motor areas was similar between groups. The oxyhemoglobin concentrations were significantly lower in patients than in control group during the fast movement task. This abnormality was independent from FM severity and duration. The activation of motor cortex areas is dysfunctional in FM patients, thus supporting the rationale for the therapeutic role of motor cortex modulation in this disabling disorder.