Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain of unknown etiology associated with alterations in the central nervous system. Although previous studies demonstrated altered patterns of brain activity during pain processing in patients with FM, alterations in spontaneous brain oscillations, in terms of functional connectivity or microstates, have been barely explored so far. Here we recorded the EEG from 43 patients with FM and 51 healthy controls during open-eyes resting-state. We analyzed the functional connectivity between different brain networks computing the phase lag index after ໿group Independent Component Analysis, and also performed an EEG microstates analysis. Patients with FM showed increased beta band connectivity between different brain networks and alterations in some microstates parameters (specifically lower occurrence and coverage of microstate class C). We speculate that the observed alterations in spontaneous EEG may suggest the dominance of endogenous top-down influences; this could be related to limited processing of novel external events and the deterioration of flexible behavior and cognitive control frequently reported for FM. These findings provide the first evidence of alterations in long-distance phase connectivity and microstate indices at rest, and represent progress towards the understanding of the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia and the identification of novel biomarkers for its diagnosis.
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