Neurochemical changes in patients with chronic low back pain detected by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy: A systematic review.

Zhao X1, Xu M1, 

Low back pain is a highly prevalent health problem around the world, affecting 50% to 85% of people at some point in life. The purpose of this systematic review is to summarize the previous proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies on brain chemical changes in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP).

The results showed that compared to controls, CLBP patients showed reductions of 1) N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), right primary motor cortex, left somatosensory cortex (SSC), left anterior insula and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC); 2) glutamate in the ACC; 3) myo-inositol in the ACC and thalamus; 4) choline in the right SSC; and 5) glucose in the DLPFC.

This review provides evidence for alterations in the biochemical profile of the brain in patients with CLBP, which suggests that biochemical changes may play a significant role in the development and pathophysiology of CLBP and shed light on the development of new treatments for CLBP.

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