Neuronal correlates of symptom formation in functional somatic syndromes: a fMRI study.
ABSTRACT Functional somatic syndromes are characterized by high morbidity due to various, fluctuating symptoms without objective somatic findings. There is increasing evidence for the contribution of emotional and cognitive functions to symptom formation, which has been well established in the perception of pain. In addition to their involvement in various other cognitive and emotional processes, the anterior cingulate and insular cortex are thought to contribute to the so-called "pain neuromatrix". Recent data suggest that these areas appear also to be involved in symptom manifestation in multiple chemical sensitivity. Here we used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to test whether this network is also involved in the induction of unpleasant perceptions by sham mobile phone radiation in subjectively electrosensitive patients. This design enabled us to completely dissociate the unpleasant subjective perception from any real physical stimulus. Fifteen subjectively electrosensitive patients and 15 age- and gender-matched healthy controls were exposed to sham mobile phone radiation and heat as a control condition. The perceived stimulus intensities were rated on a five-point scale. During anticipation of and exposure to sham mobile phone radiation increased activations in anterior cingulate and insular cortex as well as fusiform gyrus were seen in the electrosensitive group compared to controls, while heat stimulation led to similar activations in both groups. Symptom manifestation during sham exposure to mobile phone radiation was accompanied by specific alterations of cortical activity in anterior cingulate and insular cortex in subjectively electrosensitive patients further supporting the involvement of these areas in the perception of unpleasantness and generation of functional somatic syndromes.
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ABSTRACT: Throughout history, people have suffered from physical symptoms that they have attributed to modern technologies. Often these attributions are strongly held, but not supported by scientific evidence. Symptoms attributed to the operation of wind turbines (called "wind turbine syndrome" by some) may fit into this category. Several psychological mechanisms might account for symptoms attributed to wind turbines. First, the "nocebo effect" is a well-recognized phenomenon in which the expectation of symptoms can become self-fulfilling. Second, misattribution of pre-existing or new symptoms to a novel technology can also occur. Third worry about a modern technology increases the chances of someone attributing symptoms to it. Fourth, social factors, including media reporting and interaction with lobby groups can increase symptom reporting. For wind turbines, there is already some evidence that a nocebo effect can explain the attributed symptoms while misattribution seems likely. Although worry has not been directly studied, research has shown that people who are annoyed by the sound that turbines produce are more likely to report symptoms and that annoyance is associated with attitudes toward the visual impact of wind farms and whether a person benefits economically from a wind farm. Given that these mechanisms may be sufficient to account for the experiences reported by sufferers, policy-makers, clinicians and patients should insist on good-quality evidence before accepting a more direct causal link.Noise and Health 03/2014; 16(69):116-122. DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.132099 · 1.43 Impact Factor
Chapter: Neurofeedback and Epilepsy[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This chapter introduces the published research on neurofeedback and epilepsy, followed by a description of the clinical protocols typically used and illustrated with case examples when appropriate. Then, the use of qEEG (electroencephalography) to improve outcome is described. The research on neurofeedback and epilepsy has historically been limited (of necessity) to small sample sizes and only a single group for which pre- and post-treatment effects are determined. One exception was a study using SCP, which was a controlled study with between-group comparisons. Despite these limitations, results have been consistent across studies, generally suggesting that neurofeedback leads to reduction in seizures. The chapter argues that the studies utilizing SCP training, though not as numerous, also show positive outcomes.Neurofeedback and Neuromodulation Techniques and Applications, Edited by Robert Coben and James R. Evans, 10/2010: chapter 7: pages 183-203; Academic Press., ISBN: 978-0-12-382235-2
02/2015, Degree: PhD