June 8, 2018

Job well done on another publication Andrew and Chelsea!

A multi-modal MRI study of the central response to inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis

It is unknown how chronic inflammation impacts the brain. Here, we examined whether higher levels of peripheral inflammation were associated with brain connectivity and structure in 54 rheumatoid arthritis patients using functional and structural MRI. We show that higher levels of inflammation are associated with more positive connections between the inferior parietal lobule (IPL), medial prefrontal cortex, and multiple brain networks, as well as reduced IPL grey matter, and that these patterns of connectivity predicted fatigue, pain and cognitive dysfunction. At a second scan 6 months later, some of the same patterns of connectivity were again associated with higher peripheral inflammation. A graph theoretical analysis of whole-brain functional connectivity revealed a pattern of connections spanning 49 regions, including the IPL and medial frontal cortex, that are associated with peripheral inflammation. These regions may play a critical role in transducing peripheral inflammatory signals to the central changes seen in rheumatoid arthritis

Main Authors

Primary Analyses and Writing

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Steven Harte, Ph.D.

Director of Sensory Science, Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center
Assistant Research Scientist, Anesthesiology
Assistant Research Scientist, Internal Medicine - Rheumatology
Director, Postdoctoral Translational Scholar Program, MICHIGAN INSTITUTE FOR CLINICAL & HEALTH RESEARCH
Rick Harris

Richard Harris, PhD

Director of Pain and Fatigue Neuroimaging
Associate Professor, Anesthesiology
Associate Professor, Internal Medicine - Rheumatology
Dr Dan Clauw

Dan Clauw, M.D.

Director, Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center
Professor, Anesthesiology
Professor, Internal Medicine - Rheumatology
Professor, Psychiatry