Research: BELL and others,

Listed in Issue 108

Abstract

BELL and others, Department of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA, ibell@u.arizona.edu, have found a way to distinguish patients with fibromyalgia who respond exceptionally well to homeopathic remedies using electroencephalograms.

Background

The aim of the study was to characterize the initial olfactory response in the brain of fibromyalgia patients and compare it with later outcomes.

Methodology

In this double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 53 patients with confirmed fibromyalgia were given either an individualized homeopathic remedy or a placebo daily for 3 months. Baseline and 3-month difference scores for initial prefrontal electroencephalographic alpha frequency cordance (EEG-C, a correlate of functional brain activity) during 16 pairs of randomized, double-blinded bottle sniffs (treatment minus control solutions) were recorded. In the whole patient group, there were 6 'exceptional responders', i.e., patients who responded exceptionally well to the homeopathic treatment; they were all in the treatment group.

Results

Exceptional responders versus other patients exhibited significantly more negative initial EEG-C difference scores at prefrontal sites. Right prefrontal cordance findings correlated significantly with subsequently reduced pain, better global health, and trait absorption (genetically determined ability to focus attention selectively and fully).

Conclusion

These results suggest that prefrontal EEG-C is an early biomarker of individualized homeopathic medicine effects in patients with fibromyalgia who later exhibit exceptional outcomes. The prefrontal cortex controls executive function, including the ability to redirect attention.

References

Bell IR, Lewis DA 2nd, Schwartz GE, Lewis SE, Caspi O, Scott A, Brooks AJ, Baldwin CM. Electroencephalographic cordance patterns distinguish exceptional clinical responders with fibromyalgia to individualized homeopathic medicines. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 10(2): 285-299, Apr 2004.

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