Thursday, November 8, 2012

Significant neuroanatomical changes occur in CFS

British Journal of Radiology 2011, doi:10.1259/bjr/93889091

Full Text (PDF):

Regional grey and white matter volumetric
changes in myalgic encephalomyelitis
(chronic fatigue syndrome): a voxel-based
morphometry 3-T MRI study

B K Puri, PhD, FRCPsych1, P M Jakeman, MSc, PhD2,
M Agour, MB, MRCPsych3, K D R Gunatilake, MD,
MRCPsych4, K A C Fernando, MBBS, MRCPsych5, A I
Gurusinghe, MBBS, PGDPsych6, I H Treasaden, MRCS,
FRCPsych7, A D Waldman, PhD, MRCP1,8 and P
Gishen, DMRD, FRCR1

1 Department of Imaging, Hammersmith Hospital, London,
UK 2 Department of Physical Education and Sport
Sciences, University of Limerick, Republic of Ireland 3
University of Hertfordshire, and Care Principles, Rose
Lodge, Langley, West Midlands, UK 4 The Ridge Hill
Centre, Dudley, UK 5 Brooklands Hospital, Birmingham,
West Midlands, UK 6 Broadmoor Hospital, Berkshire, UK
7 Three Bridges Unit, WLMHT, Middlesex, UK 8 National
Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square,
London, UK


It is not established whether myalgic
encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is
associated with structural brain changes. The aim of this
study was to investigate this by conducting the largest
voxel-based morphometry study to date in CFS.

High-resolution structural 3-T cerebral MRI scanning was
carried out in 26 CFS patients and 26 age- and
gender-matched healthy volunteers. Voxel-wise
generalised linear modelling was applied to the processed
MR data using permutation-based non-parametric testing,
forming clusters at t > 2.3 and testing clusters for
significance at p < 0.05, corrected for multiple
comparisons across space.


Significant voxels (p < 0.05, corrected for multiple
comparisons) depicting reduced grey matter volume in the
CFS group were noted in the occipital lobes (right and left
occipital poles; left lateral occipital cortex, superior
division; and left supracalcrine cortex), the right angular
gyrus and the posterior division of the left
parahippocampal gyrus. Significant voxels (p < 0.05,
corrected for multiple comparisons) depicting reduced
white matter volume in the CFS group were also noted in
the left occipital lobe.


These data support the hypothesis that significant
neuroanatomical changes occur in CFS, and are
consistent with the complaint of impaired memory that is
common in this illness; they also suggest that subtle
abnormalities in visual processing, and discrepancies
between intended actions and consequent movements,
may occur in CFS.

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