Joint pain impacts the brain

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Science  06 Jul 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6397, pp. 39-40
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6397.39-d

How does chronic peripheral inflammation affect the brain? In autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, joint inflammation is accompanied by fatigue and cognitive decline. Schrepf et al. have discovered that these symptoms are associated with changes in neural connectivity in specific brain regions. The authors used magnetic resonance imaging to examine 54 patients with rheumatoid arthritis over 6 months. Whole-brain searches and theoretical network analyses showed altered patterns of connectivity, with more positive connections involving the left inferior parietal lobule and the medial prefrontal cortex. These are the regions that function in attention and working memory.

Nat. Commun. 9, 2243 (2018).

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