Why is Pregabalin Effective for Pain? New Insights from Brain Imaging

New research published in the December issue of Anesthesiology reports on the outcome of brain imaging studies to assess the clinical action of pregabalin on fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain. Previous research has shown that patients with fibromyalgia may have heightened neural activity in a region of the brain involved in processing pain and emotion called the insula, and that this excess activity may be related to elevated levels of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. The current study suggests that pregabalin may reduce the concentration of glutamate within the insula. It is further significant in suggesting that brain imaging may be refined as a technique for studying pharmacologic therapies for chronic pain conditions. Read a news report here.

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