Altered brain activity during pain processing in Fibromyalgia Syndrome
A study by a group of researchers at a German university hospital has found more evidence that central mechanisms of pain processing in the brain play an important role in Fibromyalgia Syndrome (Fibro). 
The article, published in the journal NeuroImage, describes an fMRI study designed to test the hypothesis that "brain areas related to the "medial" pain system and the amygdalae will present different activation in [Fibro] patients compared to healthy subjects".
fMRI stands for functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and is a type of MRI scan that looks at how the brain works, specifically which areas of the brain are being used and how much.
For this study, an fMRi scan was taken of both Fibro patients and healthy controls before, during and after acute pain as caused by means of an incision. 
The researchers found differences of activation in the fronto-cingulate cortex, the supplemental motor areas, and the thalamus between both groups, even during anticipation of pain. They concluded that.
"Our results support the hypothesis that central mechanisms of pain processing in the medial pain system, favourable cognitive/affective factors even during the anticipation of pain, may play an important role for pain processing in patients with FMS."
The medial pain system processes the emotional aspects of pain, including fear and stress. The team of researchers were from the Department of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy at University Hospital Münster, Germany.
This research suggests that emotional aspects of pain play an important role in Fibro. However, other research has shown that, although anticipation of pain worsens the perception of pain in Fibro and anticipation of analgesia (pain-relief) improves perception of pain in Fibro, it does not change the physical aspects of the hyperalgesia. 
- Burgmer M, Pogatzki-Zahn E, Gaubitz M, Wessoleck E, Heuft G, Pfleiderer B. Altered brain activity during pain processing in fibromyalgia. Neuroimage. 2008 Sep 24. [Epub ahead of print]
- Goffaux P. 2008. Fibromyalgia: Impaired Top-Down Control during Anticpatory Pain Relief. IASP 12th World Congress on Pain. Glasgow, UK. 17-22th August 2008.