Objective: Fibromyalgia (FM) patients often show deficits in cognitive functions such as attention and working memory. We assumed that pre-attentive information processing, a crucial element in human perception and cognition, would be altered in FM patients. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine whether FM patients exhibit alterations in pre-attentive processing as assessed by auditory mismatch negativity (MMN).
Methods: Auditory evoked magnetic fields were recorded in FM patients (n=18) and healthy control subjects (n=21) during a duration-deviant auditory oddball paradigm. The magnetic mismatch negativity (MMNm) was obtained by subtracting responses to standard tones from responses to deviant tones. Pressure pain thresholds over the thenar and trapezius muscles were determined using an algometer.
Results: MMNm peak amplitudes in right hemispheres were attenuated, and the directional asymmetry coefficient of the MMNm amplitude was lower in FM patients, indicating a more leftward asymmetry than in healthy control subjects. Smaller right MMNm amplitude was associated with lower pressure pain thresholds of thenar muscles in FM patients.
Conclusions: Our results suggested that pre-attentive processing of auditory information is impaired in FM patients.
Significance: This study provided neurophysiological evidence of impaired pre-attentive sensory change detection in FM.
Keywords: Auditory evoked fields; Chronic pain; Fibromyalgia; Magnetoencephalography; Mismatch negativity (MMN).
Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.