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Front Immunol. 2017 Jan 20;8:21. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00021. eCollection 2017.

Role of Inflammation in Human Fatigue: Relevance of Multidimensional Assessments and Potential Neuronal Mechanisms.

Author information

1
Division for Psychology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden; Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
2
Division for Psychology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden; Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
3
Division for Psychology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden; Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Immunobiology, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany.

Abstract

Fatigue is a highly disabling symptom in various medical conditions. While inflammation has been suggested as a potential contributor to the development of fatigue, underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. In this review, we propose that a better assessment of central fatigue, taking into account its multidimensional features, could help elucidate the role and mechanisms of inflammation in fatigue development. A description of the features of central fatigue is provided, and the current evidence describing the association between inflammation and fatigue in various medical conditions is reviewed. Additionally, the effect of inflammation on specific neuronal processes that may be involved in distinct fatigue dimensions is described. We suggest that the multidimensional aspects of fatigue should be assessed in future studies of inflammation-induced fatigue and that this would benefit the development of effective therapeutic interventions.

KEYWORDS:

anterior cingulate cortex; central fatigue; immune system; inflammation; insula; motivation; multidimensional assessments; ventral striatum

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