Study of Effect of Emotions on Pain in Fibromyalgia

This is a study using MRI to investigate how mood affects pain processing, and how this relationship is altered in fibromyalgia. The purpose of this study is to further our understanding of fibromyalgia and whether or not there is any relationship with how emotions or processed, or if emotions are affected by fibromyalgia.

This study will involve females who are 19 to 60 years of age, who either have symptoms of fibromyalgia, or are healthy and have no symptoms of fibromyalgia. Participants must have no history of neurological injury or disease, except for effects related to fibromyalgia.  The study will involve one visit to the MRI facility at Queen’s University divided into two parts. The first part will take place in a mock-up of the MRI called the sham. Here, participants will be introduced to the heat stimulus, which will be applied to their right hand and adjusted to suit their pain sensitivity. The pain applied will be adjustable and tolerable for each person. Participants will also be introduced to the “mood” images that will be used as the display alongside the pain stimulus. They will be trained to rate their pain and mood using scales that will be explained to them. Participants will also fill out questionnaires with general information about their symptoms, history of mental illness, and MRI safety. In the second part of the study, they will proceed to the MRI system, where they will experience a very similar set-up to that of the sham. Here, they will be positioned supine in the MRI system with a mirror to view the mood images, rating scale and instructions for each imaging run. During each imaging run, we will take images of the spinal cord and brainstem repeatedly. During the run, participants will see mood images on the screen and feel the heat stimulus at a certain point. Participants will always be told what to expect, as well as when and how to rate their pain. The total visit will take about 2 hours.  Participants with chronic pain will be given an honorarium of $60 and participants without chronic pain will be given an honorarium of $40 to cover their time and expenses.

The study is currently in progress. If you are interested in participating please email .

Here is a a video with some information about participating in MRI studies: Information Video