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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2017 May;39(4):355-368. doi: 10.1080/13803395.2016.1230180. Epub 2016 Sep 20.

Emotional conflict processing in adolescent chronic fatigue syndrome: A pilot study using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Author information

1
a Department of Pediatrics , Akershus University Hospital , Nordbyhagen , Norway.
2
b Department of Psychology , University of Oslo , Oslo , Norway.
3
c Cognitive Developmental Research Unit, Department of Psychology , University of Oslo , Oslo , Norway.
4
d Research Department , Innlandet Hospital Trust , Lillehammer , Norway.
5
e Department of Pediatrics , Oslo University Hospital , Oslo , Norway.
6
f Department of Pediatrics , Innlandet Hospital Trust , Lillehammer , Norway.
7
g Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care , Oslo University Hospital , Oslo , Norway.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Studies of neurocognition suggest that abnormalities in cognitive control contribute to the pathophysiology of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in adolescents, yet these abnormalities remain poorly understood at the neurobiological level. Reports indicate that adolescents with CFS are significantly impaired in conflict processing, a primary element of cognitive control.

METHOD:

In this study, we examine whether emotional conflict processing is altered on behavioral and neural levels in adolescents with CFS and a healthy comparison group. Fifteen adolescent patients with CFS and 24 healthy adolescent participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing an emotional conflict task that involved categorizing facial affect while ignoring overlaid affect labeled words.

RESULTS:

Adolescent CFS patients were less able to engage the left amygdala and left midposterior insula (mpINS) in response to conflict than the healthy comparison group. An association between accuracy interference and conflict-related reactivity in the amygdala was observed in CFS patients. A relationship between response time interference and conflict-related reactivity in the mpINS was also reported. Neural responses in the amygdala and mpINS were specific to fatigue severity.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data demonstrate that adolescent CFS patients displayed deficits in emotional conflict processing. Our results suggest abnormalities in affective and cognitive functioning of the salience network, which might underlie the pathophysiology of adolescent CFS.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescents; Chronic fatigue syndrome; Cognitive control; Conflict; Emotion; Functional MRI

PMID:
27647312
DOI:
10.1080/13803395.2016.1230180
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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