Document Detail

Increase in prefrontal cortical volume following cognitive behavioural therapy in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18587150     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disabling disorder, characterized by persistent or relapsing fatigue. Recent studies have detected a decrease in cortical grey matter volume in patients with CFS, but it is unclear whether this cerebral atrophy constitutes a cause or a consequence of the disease. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective behavioural intervention for CFS, which combines a rehabilitative approach of a graded increase in physical activity with a psychological approach that addresses thoughts and beliefs about CFS which may impair recovery. Here, we test the hypothesis that cerebral atrophy may be a reversible state that can ameliorate with successful CBT. We have quantified cerebral structural changes in 22 CFS patients that underwent CBT and 22 healthy control participants. At baseline, CFS patients had significantly lower grey matter volume than healthy control participants. CBT intervention led to a significant improvement in health status, physical activity and cognitive performance. Crucially, CFS patients showed a significant increase in grey matter volume, localized in the lateral prefrontal cortex. This change in cerebral volume was related to improvements in cognitive speed in the CFS patients. Our findings indicate that the cerebral atrophy associated with CFS is partially reversed after effective CBT. This result provides an example of macroscopic cortical plasticity in the adult human brain, demonstrating a surprisingly dynamic relation between behavioural state and cerebral anatomy. Furthermore, our results reveal a possible neurobiological substrate of psychotherapeutic treatment.
Floris P de Lange; Anda Koers; Joke S Kalkman; Gijs Bleijenberg; Peter Hagoort; Jos W M van der Meer; Ivan Toni
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2008-06-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Brain : a journal of neurology     Volume:  131     ISSN:  1460-2156     ISO Abbreviation:  Brain     Publication Date:  2008 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-08-05     Completed Date:  2008-09-15     Revised Date:  2009-05-27    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372537     Medline TA:  Brain     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2172-80     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
F.C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Radboud University Nijmegen, Kapittelweg 29, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Psychological
Aging / physiology
Brain Mapping
Case-Control Studies
Cognitive Therapy / methods*
Exercise / physiology
Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / pathology,  psychology,  therapy*
Follow-Up Studies
Linear Models
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Neuronal Plasticity
Prefrontal Cortex / pathology*
Comment In:
Brain. 2009 Jun;132(Pt 6):e110; author reply e111   [PMID:  18757463 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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