Abnormal neurometabolites in fibromyalgia patients: Magnetic resonance spectroscopy study

Ye Ha Jung, Hyeonjin Kim, Dasom Lee, Jae Yeon Lee, Won Joon Lee, Jee Youn Moon, Soo Hee Choi, Do Hyung Kang

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4 Scopus citations


This study aimed to investigate distinct neurometabolites in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), right and left thalamus, and insula of patients with fibromyalgia (FM) compared with healthy controls using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Levels of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), N-acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG), total NAA (tNAA = NAA + NAAG), myo-inositol (ml), glutamine (Gln), glutamate (Glu), Glx (Glu + Gln), glycerophosphocholine (GPC), total choline (tCho = GPC + phosphocholine) and glutathione (GSH) levels relative to total creatine (tCr) levels including creatine (Cr) and phosphocreatine (PCr) and relative to Cr levels were determined in the ACC, right and left thalamus, and insula in 12 patients with FM and 13 healthy controls using MRS. In the ACC, NAA/tCr (P = 0.028) and tCho/tCr (P = 0.047) were higher in patients with FM. In the right and left insula, tNAA/tCr (P = 0.019, P = 0.007, respectively) was lower in patients with FM. Patients with FM showed lower levels of ml/Cr (P = 0.037) in the right insula than healthy controls. These findings are paramount to understand decisive pathophysiological mechanisms related to abnormal features in the brain and parasympathetic nervous systems in FM. We suggest that the results presented herein may be essential to understand hidden pathological mechanisms and also life system potential as protective and recovering metabolic strategies in patients with FM.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Pain
StatePublished - 2021

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© The Author(s) 2021.


  • anterior cingulate cortex
  • fibromyalgia
  • insula
  • magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • neurometabolites
  • thalamus


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