Cortical Hypoactivation During Resting EEG Suggests Central Nervous System Pathology

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  • Biol Psychol. 2018 May 23. pii: S0301-0511(18)30407-1. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2018.05.016. [Epub ahead of print]
    Cortical Hypoactivation During Resting EEG Suggests Central Nervous System Pathology in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
    Zinn MA1, Zinn ML1, Valencia I2, Jason LA3, Montoya JG2.
    Author information
    Abstract

    We investigated cognitive impairment to executive function in 50 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and 50 matched healthy controls (HC). Resting state EEG was collected from 19 scalp locations during a 3 minute, eyes-closed condition. Current densities were localized using exact low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (eLORETA). The Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20) and the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) were administered to all participants. Independent t-tests and linear regression analyses were used to evaluate group differences in current densities, followed by statistical non-parametric mapping (SnPM) correction procedures. Significant differences were found in the delta (1-3 Hz) and beta-2 (19-21 Hz) frequency bands. Delta sources were found predominately in the frontal lobe, while beta-2 sources were found in the medial and superior parietal lobe. Left-lateralized, frontal delta sources were associated with a clinical reduction in motivation. The implications of abnormal cortical sources in patients with CFS are discussed.

    KEYWORDS:
    Arousal; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; EEG; MFI-20; Myalgic Encephalomyelitis; Neuroinflammation; eLORETA

    PMID:
    29802861
    DOI:
    10.1016/j.biopsycho.2018.05.016
 

alex3619

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Central nervous system pathology involving impaired executive function I can see as likely, but it does not tell you why. Is this a primary problem, or secondary to impaired energy metabolism? Its nice to get this documented though, I am aware that at least some of us have experienced this kind of impairment, and have been discussing it for years.

I would argue its not about decreased motivation, but about inability to act on motivation, based on personal experience and some I have talked to about this. We can know what to do and want to do it but just cannot, especially if it has to be self-initiated.
 

dreampop

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Central nervous system pathology involving impaired executive function I can see as likely, but it does not tell you why. Is this a primary problem, or secondary to impaired energy metabolism? Its nice to get this documented though, I am aware that at least some of us have experienced this kind of impairment, and have been discussing it for years.

I would argue its not about decreased motivation, but about inability to act on motivation, based on personal experience and some I have talked to about this. We can know what to do and want to do it but just cannot, especially if it has to be self-initiated.
I think neurological motivation isn't quite like the classical use of the word motivation, but is more a composite of understanding problems and approving outcomes. If you expect the reward to be dissatisfactory it won't trigger all the proper neurological response, or problems within the brain won't produce expected motivational behavior.

The authors say "[m]otivation is a component of a work output model of fatigue proposed by Chaudhuri and Behan (2004) and, according to the model, the level of perceived exertion is increased when there is insufficient limbic input to sensorimotor signaling pathways that control voluntary movement. Remarkably, neurobehavioral deficits of voluntary action can occur based on paralimbic abnormalities we found, elucidating motivation as a functionally significant dimension of fatigue in patients with CFS."

Hopefully someone who knows better will distil it for us, because the authors seem to think it's an important finding. Although, I'm also pretty sure it's common to all illnesses with fatigue so I'm not sure what it means.
 

alex3619

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I think neurological motivation isn't quite like the classical use of the word motivation, but is more a composite of understanding problems and approving outcomes. If you expect the reward to be dissatisfactory it won't trigger all the proper neurological response, or problems within the brain won't produce expected motivational behavior.
I currently do not think this is a good explanation, at least with respect to executive function in ME. I would argue that, in my experience and that of others I have discussed this with, we understand and consider things desirable, we just cannot go there. In my case I can break a problem down into nice easy steps, with a step by step plan to achieve my goals. Then I go to do the very first thing, something easy ... no idea how to do it! This is not with everything, or all the time, just generally the case, and much worse when I am sleep deprived or in a crash.

There are also holes in my cognition, like today I could not deal with plastic bags, they are amorphous monstrosities from the Twilight Zone. I picked one up, and consistently held it the wrong way, dropping the rubbish to the floor. In the past I have had a big issue figuring out where the opening is ... my three techniques to open an open plastic bag are to rip a hole, pick it up and shake it till something falls out, or to use tactile discovery and keep feeling around the bag till I find the hole. This is about visual spatial reasoning ... there is a big fail in my cognition somewhere.

Similar issues occur with numbers. I have tutored university level math. At my very bad days, not bad enough I lose language, but bad, I cannot count to three. Most things involving numbers are really, really difficult. Yet I still grasp relationships, trends etc. The concepts are there, its the numbers I have issues with. I can do some things with numbers only if I treat them as letters, and do pattern matching. This is one of the reasons I am less engaged with science these days ... science and numbers go together.

My point is that cognition is a complex mix of many different capacities, and if one or more from that mix of capacities is broken then the complex outcomes are flawed.