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Dopamine activity, pain perception and reward processes in patients with Fibromyalgia

English title Dopamine activity, pain perception and reward processes in patients with Fibromyalgia
Applicant Martin Sölch Chantal
Number 127629
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Département de Psychologie Université de Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Start/End 01.08.2010 - 31.01.2014
Approved amount 250'000.00
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Keywords (5)

pain; dopamine; fibromyalgia; reward; positron emission tomography

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Recent findings showed that dopamine, a chemical brain messenger, reacts to rewarding information and to painful experience. In patients suffering chronic pain, including patients with fibromyalgia, dopamine abnormalities have been evidenced. Fibromyalgia is poorly understood disorder that is related to high health costs. Fibromyalgia patients often have depressive symptoms. Depression is associated with alterations in the dopamine system and with reduced reactions to rewards. Here, we aim to understand the role of dopamine in the perception of pain and of reward in patients with fibromyalgia, and to investigate whether the dopamine reaction to rewards can distinguish between fibromyalgia patients with and without depression. We will examine 20 healthy subjects, 20 fibromyalgia patients without depression, and 20 fibromyalgia patients with depression using the [11C]raclopride positron emission tomography, a method allowing in vivo measurement of dopamine concentration changes in the brain. In one of the two scanning session, subjects will perform a computerized slot-machine game to measure their reaction to monetary rewards. We will administer increasing heat stimulation on one arm until the sensation gets painful to test pain reactions. We expect our results to bring a better understanding of fibromyalgia and to open new treatment perspectives, highlighting the role of dopamine.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Comparison of PET template-based and MRI-based image processing in the quantitative analysis of C11-raclopride PET.
Kuhn F. P., Warnock G. I., Burger C., Ledermann K., Martin-Soelch C., Buck A. (2014), Comparison of PET template-based and MRI-based image processing in the quantitative analysis of C11-raclopride PET., in EJNMMI Res, 4(1), 7.
A common neurobiology for reward, chronic pain and depression? A [11C]raclopride bolus plus constant infusion PET-study
Ledermann K., Jenewein J., Sprott H., Hasler G., Schnyder U., Burger C., Johayem A., Cservenyak T., Kollias S., Buck A., Martin-Soelch C. (2013), A common neurobiology for reward, chronic pain and depression? A [11C]raclopride bolus plus constant infusion PET-study, in European Neuropsychopharmacology , 23(2), 354.
Is Fibromyalgia a neuropathic pain disease?
Martin-Soelch C, Ledermann K., Jenewein J, Hasler G, Schnyder U., Burger C., Johayem A., Cservenyak T, Kollias A, Buck A, Sprott H. (2011), Is Fibromyalgia a neuropathic pain disease?, in European Journal of Pain, Supp. 5(1), 231.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
University Hospital of Adult Psychiatry, University Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Pain Clinic Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Department of Neuroradiology, University Hospital Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
8th Congress of the European Federation of IASP® Chapters (EFIC) Poster Differences in striatal D2 receptor availability and pain modulation related to depression in Fibromyalgia – a [11C] raclopride PET study 09.10.2013 Florence, Italy Ledermann Katharina; Sprott Haiko;
26th Congress of the european College of Neuropsychopharmacology Poster A common neurobiology for reward, chronic pain and depression? A [11C]raclopride bolus plus constant infusion PET-study. 05.10.2013 Barcelona, Spain Ledermann Katharina; Hasler Gregor; Martin Sölch Chantal;
26th Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Poster A common Neurobiology for reward, chronic pain and depression? A 11C-raclopride bolus plus constant infusion PET-study 05.10.2013 Barcelona, Spain Ledermann Katharina; Martin Sölch Chantal;
Seminars Psychiatry University Hospital Bern, Switzerland Individual talk Function and Dysfunction of the cerebral reward system: Implications for Psychopathology 14.01.2013 Bern, Switzerland Martin Sölch Chantal; Hasler Gregor;
25th Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Talk given at a conference Changes in dopamine function in depression 13.10.2012 Vienna, Austria Martin Sölch Chantal; Hasler Gregor;
Congress of the Society of Neurosciences Poster Differences in dopaminergic response to unpredictable rewards in the right ventral Striatum in Fibromyalgia patients: a 11C-raclopride bolus plus constant infusion PET-study 13.10.2012 New Orleans, United States of America Ledermann Katharina;
Lunch Time Seminar Individual talk Influence of Reward on Mood and Performance: Implications for psychopathology 11.10.2012 Fribourg, Switzerland Martin Sölch Chantal;
Fribourg Day of Cognition Talk given at a conference The role of dopamine in pleasure and pain: A 11C-raclopride bolus plus constant infusion PET-study of unpredictable monetary rewards in chronic pain. 12.09.2012 Fribourg, Switzerland Martin Sölch Chantal; Ledermann Katharina;
7th Congress of the European Federation of IASP Chapters Poster Is fibromyalgia a neuropathic pain disease? 21.09.2011 Hamburg, Germany Sprott Haiko; Ledermann Katharina;
Targeted Expert Meeting, European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Individual talk Major depression and the neural circuitry of reward 02.09.2011 Paris, France, France Martin Sölch Chantal;
8th IBRO world congress of Neurosciences Poster Reduced striatal D2 receptor binding in Fibromyalgia 14.07.2011 Florence, Italy, Italy Ledermann Katharina;
Fort- und Weiterbildung, Klinik für Rheumatologie und physikalische Medizin Individual talk Dopaminaktivität, Schmerzwahrnehmung und Belohnungsprozesse bei Patienten mit Fibromyalgie 14.10.2010 Zurich, Switzerland, Switzerland Sprott Haiko; Martin Sölch Chantal; Ledermann Katharina;
ZNZ Symposium 2010 Talk given at a conference Insights into the neurocircuitry underlying pleasure and pain 17.09.2010 Zurich, Switzerland, Switzerland Ledermann Katharina; Martin Sölch Chantal;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Psychological interventions promoting Health: crossing borders between Clinical and Health Psychology 12.09.2013 Basel, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions La douleur: tout dans la tête Western Switzerland 2013
Talks/events/exhibitions Schmerz und Vergnügen: ein Widerspruch? German-speaking Switzerland 2012
Talks/events/exhibitions Belohnung im Gehirn: Bedeutung für psychiatrische Erkrankungen. Brain Fair, Zürich. German-speaking Switzerland 2011

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
138264 Neural Response to Catecholamine Depletion in Unmedicated Remitted Bulimic Subjects and Healthy Controls 01.08.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Background: Recent findings suggest that pain and reward are mediated by similar neural pathways in the central nervous system, and that these pathways are related to both the dopamine (DA) and the opioid system. It is well documented that DA is involved in the processing of rewarding information, and several findings point to a role of DA in pain regulation. However, the exact role of DA in the perception of pain and pain relief is still unknown. A dysfunction of the central DA system was evidenced in chronic pain patients, including patients with neuropathic pain and patients with fibromyalgia (FMS). Additionally, there is extensive comorbidity between chronic pain and depression, which often includes anhedonia, i.e. the reduced ability to enjoy pleasurable activities. Anhedonia has been hypothesized to be related to a hypofunction of the DA system that could affect the neural processing of rewarding information. Finally, the neuropathology of FMS is still poorly understood and the role of the observed reduction in DA presynaptic function in the pathophysiology of FMS is unclear. The main aim of this project is to investigate the modulation of pain perception and pain relief by dopamine (DA) in patients with FMS compared to healthy controls using the [11C] raclopride PET method. A second aim is to investigate whether the DA response to rewarding stimuli can differentiate between FMS patients with and without depression in order to understand whether an alteration of the neural responses to reward could contribute to the depressive symptoms that are often associated with FMS.Working hypothesis: We hypothesize 1) that FMS patients will show a reduced DA function that will be associated with increased pain perception and reduced positive feelings associated with pain relief, and 2) that FMS patients will show reduced DA release in response to unpredictable monetary rewards compared to healthy controls and that this reduction will be more accentuated in the group of FMS patients with depression than in the FMS patients without depression.Experimental design/methods: We plan to correlate on one hand basic DA2 receptor binding with the subjective ratings of pain and pain relief related to the administration of painful thermal stimulation, and on the other hand to measure the endogeneous DA release associated to unpredictable monetary rewards during bolus-plus-infusion [11C] raclopride PET scanning, while simultaneously assessing mood and pain ratings in 20 healthy subjects, 20 subjects meeting the criteria for FMS without psychiatric comorbidity, and 20 subjects meeting the criteria for FMS and the criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD).Expected value: This study is clinically relevant because it will provide new insights on the neural correlates of FMS, which are still poorly understood. FMS is related to high direct and indirect costs, but is still difficult to treat. Based on first evidence showing an involvement of DA in pain and a dysfunction of the DA function in patients with FMS, we believe to be able to bring a better understanding of the role of pain modulation by the DA system in the neuropathophysiology of FMS. This study is innovative and original because it addresses the question of the association between altered pain processing and depression in FMS by investigating potential common neural bases. This project is multidisciplinary and uses a modern method that allows in vivo imaging of the DA function in the human brain in response to motivational stimuli. Finally, we are confident that our results will both bring a better understanding of FMS as well as open new treatment perspectives, highlighting the role of DA in this condition.
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