Abnormal brain structure implicated in patients with functional dyspepsia
Recent studies suggest dysfunctional brain-gut interactions are involved in the pathophysiology of functional dyspepsia (FD). However, limited studies have investigated brain structural abnormalities in FD patients. This study aimed to identify potential differences in both cortical thickness and subcortical volume in FD patients compared to healthy controls (HCs) and to explore relationships of structural abnormalities with clinical symptoms. Sixty-nine patients and forty-nine HCs underwent 3T structural magnetic resonance imaging scans. Cortical thickness and subcortical volume were compared between the groups across the cortical and subcortical regions, respectively. Regression analysis was then performed to examine relationships between the structure alternations and clinical symptoms in FD patients. Our results showed that FD patients had decreased cortical thickness compared to HCs in the distributed brain regions including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), anterior/posterior cingulate cortex (ACC/PCC), insula, superior parietal cortex (SPC), supramarginal gyrus and lingual gyrus. Significantly negative correlations were observed between the Nepean Dyspepsia Index (NDI) and cortical thickness in the mPFC, second somatosensory cortex (SII), ACC and parahippocampus (paraHIPP). And significantly negative correlations were found between disease duration and the cortical thickness in the vlPFC, first somatosensory cortex (SI) and insula in FD patients. These findings suggest that FD patients have structural abnormalities in brain regions involved in sensory perception, sensorimotor integration, pain modulation, affective and cognitive controls. The relationships between the brain structural changes and clinical symptoms indicate that the alternations may be a consequence of living with FD.
KeywordsFunctional dyspepsia Cortical thickness Subcortical volume MRI
Compliance with ethical standards
All research procedures were conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki, and were approved by the local institutional review board. Verbal and written consent was obtained from each subject before participation, and all methods were carried out in accordance with the approved guidelines.
This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 81,471,738, 81,303,060, 81,271,644, 81,471,811 and 61,401,346,National Basic Research Program of China under Grant Nos. 2014CB543203 and 2015CB856403, the Special Fund for the Authors Who win the 100 Top Doctoral Dissertations Award of China No. 2014084, the Education Ministry’s New Century Excellent Talents Supporting Plan, and NIH 1R01EB006841, R01EB005846 and P20GM103472.
Conflict of interest
Peng Liu, Geliang Wang , Fang Zeng , Yanfei Liu, Yingying Fan, Ying Wei, Wei Qin and Vince D. Calhoun declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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