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Altered regional brain function in the treatment-naive patients with somatic symptom disorder: a resting-state fMRI study

25 Jul 2016

Abstract
Introduction

Somatic symptom disorder (SSD) is an illness that occurs over a long time and results in significant disruption in daily life. Clinically, SSD patients typically express complaints that involve a variety of organ systems. However, the neural mechanism of SSD remains poorly understood.

Methods

Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated the characteristics of the regional basal brain function during resting state in patients with SSD. Eleven treatment-naïve SSD patients and 12 age-matched healthy controls were recruited in this study. Between-group differences in regional homogeneity values were analyzed.

Results

Compared with the healthy control group, the SSD group showed significant increases in regional homogeneity values in the right medial prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and supramarginal gyrus, and significant decreases in the bilateral middle occipital gyrus, superior occipital gyrus and right cuneus and left postcentral gyrus and cerebellum. Meanwhile, the regional homogeneity value of the right medial prefrontal cortex positively correlated with the total duration of SSD.

Conclusions

The abnormal resting-state patterns in regional brain activity may contribute to understanding the mechanism of SSD.

The mechanism of somatic symptom disorder remains unknown. Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found that the somatic symptom disorder group demonstrated significantly higher regional homogeneity value in the frontal brain regions but lower regional homogeneity value in the posterior brain regions. This abnormal resting-state patterns of regional brain activity may contribute to understanding the mechanism of somatic symptom disorder.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Brain and Behavior