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Grey and white matter differences in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – A voxel-based morphometry study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andreas Finkelmeyer, Dr Stuart Watson, Dr Peter Gallagher, Professor Julia Newton, Professor Andrew Blamire



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Objective: Investigate global and regional grey and white matter volumes in patients with Chronic FatigueSyndrome (CFS) using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and recent voxel-based morphometry (VBM) methods.Methods: Forty-two patients with CFS and thirty healthy volunteers were scanned on a 3-Tesla MRI scanner.Anatomical MRI scans were segmented, normalized and submitted to a VBM analysis using randomisationmethods. Group differences were identified in overall segment volumes and voxel-wise in spatially normalizedgrey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) segments.Results: Accounting for total intracranial volume, patients had larger GM volume and lower WM volume. Thevoxel-wise analysis showed increased GM volume in several structures including the amygdala and insula in thepatient group. Reductions in WM volume in the patient group were seen primarily in the midbrain, pons andright temporal lobe.Conclusion: Elevated GM volume in CFS is seen in areas related to processing of interoceptive signals and stress.Reduced WM volume in the patient group partially supports earlier findings of WM abnormalities in regions ofthe midbrain and brainstem.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Finkelmeyer A, He J, Maclachlan L, Watson S, Gallagher P, Newton JL, Blamire AM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: NeuroImage: Clinical

Year: 2018

Volume: 17

Pages: 24-30

Online publication date: 28/09/2017

Acceptance date: 26/09/2017

Date deposited: 05/10/2017

ISSN (electronic): 2213-1582

Publisher: Elseiver


DOI: 10.1016/j.nicl.2017.09.024


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