Study links chronic sinus inflammation with alterations in brain activity

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Sumary of Study links chronic sinus inflammation with alterations in brain activity:

  • The millions of people who have chronic sinusitis deal not only with stuffy noses and headaches, they also commonly struggle to focus, and experience depression and other symptoms that implicate the brain’s involvement in their illness..
  • New research links sinus inflammation with alterations in brain activity, specifically with the neural networks that modulate cognition, introspection and response to external stimuli..
  • We know from previous studies that patients who have sinusitis often decide to seek medical care not because they have a runny nose and sinus pressure, but because the disease is affecting how they interact with the world:.
  • The researchers identified a study cohort from the Human Connectome Project, an open-access, brain-focused dataset of 1,206 healthy adults ages 22-35..
  • The scans enabled them to identify 22 people with moderate or severe sinus inflammation as well as an age- and gender-matched control group of 22 with no sinus inflammation..
  • Functional MRI (fMRI) scans, which detect cerebral blood flow and neuronal activity, showed these distinguishing features in the study subjects:.
  • decreased functional connectivity in the salience network, which is involved in detecting and integrating external stimuli, communication and social behavior..
  • Related Stories The magnitude of brain-activity differences seen in the study group paralleled the severity of sinus inflammation among the subjects, Jafari said..
  • Despite the brain-activity changes, however, no significant deficit was seen in the behavioral and cognitive testing of study-group participants, said Dr. Kristina Simonyan, a study co-author..
  • “The participants with moderate and severe sinus inflammation were young individuals who did not show clinically significant signs of cognitive impairment…

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