Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Jewish Business News

Health

Israeli Study Links Adult Fibromyalgia to Childhood Sexual Abuse

The research suggests that survivors of childhood sexual abuse who develop fibromyalgia may be effectively treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy


Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties. A new Tel Aviv University study finds that Fibromyalgia may be a consequence of post-traumatic physical and psychological distress associated with childhood sexual abuse.

The research suggests that survivors of childhood sexual abuse who develop fibromyalgia may be effectively treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the application of hyperbaric pressure in conjunction with increased oxygen delivery to oxygen-deprived tissue.

“We now know that severe emotional stress, such as that caused by sexual abuse, can induce chronic brain injury,” says Prof. Shai Efrati of TAU’s School of Medicine and School of Neuroscience and Director of the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine. “These non-healing brain wounds may explain certain unremitting long-term physical and psychological disorders like fibromyalgia.

Please help us out :
Will you offer us a hand? Every gift, regardless of size, fuels our future.
Your critical contribution enables us to maintain our independence from shareholders or wealthy owners, allowing us to keep up reporting without bias. It means we can continue to make Jewish Business News available to everyone.
You can support us for as little as $1 via PayPal at office@jewishbusinessnews.com.
Thank you.

“We also now know that fibromyalgia takes root in the part of the brain responsible for pain interpretation. Using novel brain imaging technologies, we have now, for the first time, identified the injured areas of the brain injured by traumatic abuse.

“We believe our results serve as an explanation for the often limited results of psychological intervention, which do not provide physiologic repair of the damaged brain tissue,” Prof. Efrati continues. “The study shows that when these brain wounds are treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, neuroplasticity can be induced and the related clinical symptoms significantly improved.”

Over two years, 30 women suffering from fibromyalgia and bearing a history of childhood sexual abuse were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: 60 hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions or psychotherapy. After the hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions, the participants reported a significant improvement in all measures of quality of life, including symptoms of fibromyalgia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The clinical findings were accompanied by an improvement in brain functionality, observed in brain nuclear imaging scans (SPECT) and novel MRI scans (MRI-DTI).

“Even though some of the areas of the brain have previously been associated with fibromyalgia and PTSD, the correlation we found also added new knowledge on brain function,” says Dr. Amir Hadanny, of TAU, Bar-Ilan University and Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, a co-author of the study. “In the future, we hope to be able to diagnose the so-called ‘psychological’ disorders through objective brain imaging.”

According to the study, the ability to recall sexual abuse is by no means a prerequisite for effective treatment of fibromyalgia in cases of childhood sexual abuse. “Lately, we have witnessed women in the #MeToo movement who knew they were sexually harassed and abused but could not recall the details of the attack,” says Prof. Rachel Lev-Wiesel of the University of Haifa, a co-author of the study. “Our new approach demonstrates that not being able to remember traumatic events is a biological rather than an emotional limitation.

“Repeated exposure to traumatic events creates the need to suppress these events,” Prof. Lev-Wiesel continues. “Biologically, that means that the areas of the brain responsible for those memories are actually being shut down in order to cope with reality. This may be the key for the reason why survivors are unable to recall the details or the traumatic event itself.”

The scientists are now researching novel early interventions for childhood sexual abuse survivors.

The study is part of an ongoing collaboration between TAU, the University of Haifa and Assaf Harofeh Medical Center investigating new therapeutic strategies with which to treat survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

 

Newsletter



Advertisement

You May Also Like

World News

In the 15th Nov 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:   ·         A new Israeli treatment brings hope to relapsed leukemia...

Entertainment

The Movie The Professional is what made Natalie Portman a Lolita.

Travel

After two decades without a rating system in Israel, at the end of 2012 an international tender for hotel rating was published.  Invited to place bids...

VC, Investments

You may not become a millionaire, but there is a lot to learn from George Soros.