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Low-resolution electromagnetic brain tomography (LORETA) of monozygotic twins discordant for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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By Leslie Sherlin, et al • • January 17, 2007

Journal: Neuroimage. 2006 Dec 12; [E-publication ahead of print] Authors and affiliations: Leslie Sherlin, Thomas Budzynski, Helen Kogan Budzynski, Marco Congedo, Mary E. Fischer, Dedra Buchwald. Nova Tech EEG, Inc., Mesa, Arizona, USA (Sherlin); Nova Tech EEG, Inc., Grenoble, France (Congedo); The Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA (T Budzynski & H Budzynski); The Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA (Buchwald); The Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Illinois, Chicago, USA (Buchwald). [E-mail L Sherlin at ] PMID: 17169580

Background: Previous work using quantified EEG has suggested that brain activity in individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and normal persons differs. Our objective was to investigate if specific frequency band-pass regions and spatial locations are associated with CFS using low-resolution electromagnetic brain tomography (LORETA).

Methods: We conducted a co-twin control study of 17 pairs of monozygotic twins where 1 twin met criteria for CFS and the co-twin was healthy. Twins underwent an extensive battery of tests including a structured psychiatric interview and a quantified EEG. Eyes closed EEG frequency-domain analysis was computed and the entire brain volume was compared of the CFS and healthy twins using a multiple comparison procedure.

Results: Compared with their healthy co-twins, twins with CFS differed in current source density. The CFS twins had higher delta in the left uncus and parahippocampal gyrus and higher theta in the cingulate gyrus and right superior frontal gyrus.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that neurophysiological activity in specific areas of the brain may differentiate individuals with CFS from those in good health. The study corroborates that slowing of the deeper structures of the limbic system is associated with affect. It also supports the neurobiological model that the right forebrain is associated with sympathetic activity and the left forebrain with the effective management of energy. These preliminary findings await replication.

Keywords: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Twins; Electroencephalography; Low resolution electromagnetic tomography; LORETA [This work was partially funded by grant U19Al38429 from the National Institutes of Health (Dr. Buchwald) and Nova Tech EEG, Inc.]

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