Dr. Wylie, director of the Kessler Foundation’s Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center, specializes in implementing neuroimaging techniques in rehabilitation research. Photo credit: Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation researchers have demonstrated changes in functional connectivity within the “fatigue network” in response to cognitive fatigue. This finding, the first of its kind, was reported in Scientific Reports on December 14, 2020 in the open access article “Use of functional connectivity changes in connection with cognitive fatigue to delimit a fatigue network”.

Cognitive fatigue, a bothersome symptom in healthy and clinical populations, is a major research focus of the Kessler Foundation. With this study, the Foundation’s scientists expanded their exploration of the “fatigue network,” a series of brain regions associated with cognitive fatigue that include the striatum of the basal ganglia, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the atromedial prefrontal cortex, and the anterior sula. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of cognitive fatigue is critical to developing effective interventions for people with disabled fatigue caused by multiple sclerosis, Gulf War disease, brain injury, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other medical conditions.

The study was conducted at the Kessler Foundation’s Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center, a specialized facility dedicated solely to rehabilitation research. The team induced cognitive fatigue in 39 healthy volunteers while they underwent functional MRI of their brain activation patterns. Participants’ fatigue in response to multiple runs of challenging working memory tasks was measured using a visual analog fatigue scale (VAS-F). The researchers found that as cognitive fatigue increased, the connectivity between the regions that make up the fatigue network decreased and the connectivity between the network and the posterior regions increased.

Dr. Wylie, director of the Ortenzio Center, commented on the results of this task-based functional neuroimaging paradigm: “Our results provide further evidence of a functionally connected ‘fatigue network’ in the brain. More importantly, we have shown this for the first time in Time, in which this functional network connectivity changes in the context of cognitive fatigue, “he emphasized. “This promises to accelerate progress towards effective interventions to alleviate debilitating fatigue.”

Scientists find a link between cognitive fatigue and exertion and reward

More information:
GR Wylie et al. Scientific Reports (2020) uses functional connectivity changes associated with cognitive fatigue to delineate a fatigue network. DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-020-78768-3

Provided by the Kessler Foundation

Quote: Cognitive fatigue alters the functional connectivity in the brain’s fatigue network (2021, March 8), accessed on March 8, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-03-cognitive-fatigue-functional-brain-network. html

This document is subject to copyright. Except for fair trade for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.