The biological underpinnings of the psychological factors characterizing chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have not been extensively studied. Our aim was to evaluate alterations of resting-state functional connectivity in CFS patients. Participants comprised 18 women with CFS and 18 age-matched female healthy controls who were recruited from the local community. Structural and functional magnetic resonance images were acquired during a 6-min passive-viewing block scan. Posterior cingulate cortex seeded resting-state functional connectivity was evaluated, and correlation analyses of connectivity strength were performed. Graph theory analysis of 90 nodes of the brain was conducted to compare the global and local efficiency of connectivity networks in CFS patients with that in healthy controls. The posterior cingulate cortex in CFS patients showed increased resting-state functional connectivity with the dorsal and rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Connectivity strength of the posterior cingulate cortex to the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex significantly correlated with the Chalder Fatigue Scale score, while the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) score was controlled. Connectivity strength to the rostral anterior cingulate cortex significantly correlated with the Chalder Fatigue Scale score. Global efficiency of the posterior cingulate cortex was significantly lower in CFS patients, while local efficiency showed no difference from findings in healthy controls. The findings suggest that CFS patients show inefficient increments in resting-state functional connectivity that are linked to the psychological factors observed in the syndrome.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Psychiatry and Mental health