Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Differential Effects of Exercise on fMRI of the Midbrain Ascending Arousal Network Nuclei in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Gulf War Illness (GWI) in a Model of Postexertional Malaise (PEM)

Version 1 : Received: 22 November 2021 / Approved: 23 November 2021 / Online: 23 November 2021 (10:53:55 CET)

How to cite: Baraniuk, J.N.; Amar, A.; Pepermintwala, H.; Washington, S.D. Differential Effects of Exercise on fMRI of the Midbrain Ascending Arousal Network Nuclei in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Gulf War Illness (GWI) in a Model of Postexertional Malaise (PEM). Preprints 2021, 2021110420 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0420.v1). Baraniuk, J.N.; Amar, A.; Pepermintwala, H.; Washington, S.D. Differential Effects of Exercise on fMRI of the Midbrain Ascending Arousal Network Nuclei in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Gulf War Illness (GWI) in a Model of Postexertional Malaise (PEM). Preprints 2021, 2021110420 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0420.v1).

Abstract

Background: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Gulf War Ill-ness (GWI) and control subjects had fMRI during difficult cognitive tests performed before and after submaximal exercise provocation (Washington 2020). Exercise caused increased activation in ME/CFS but decreased activation for GWI in the dorsal midbrain, left Rolandic operculum and right middle insula. Midbrain and isthmus nuclei participate in threat assessment, attention, cognition, mood, pain, sleep, and autonomic dysfunction Methods: Activated midbrain nuclei were inferred by re-analysis of data from 31 control, 36 ME/CFS and 78 GWI subjects using a seed region approach and the Harvard Ascending Arousal Network. Results: Before exercise, control and GWI had greater activation during cognition than ME/CFS in left pedunculotegmental nucleus. Postexercise ME/CFS had greater activation than GWI for midline periaqueductal gray, dorsal and median raphe, and right midbrain reticular formation, parabrachial complex and locus coeruleus. The change between days (delta) was positive for ME/CFS but negative for GWI indicating reciprocal patterns of activation. Controls had no changes. Conclusions: Exercise caused opposite effects with increased activation in ME/CFS but decreased activation in GWI indicating different pathophysiological responses to exertion and mechanisms of disease. Midbrain and isthmus nuclei contribute to postexertional malaise in ME/CFS and GWI.

Keywords

Midbrain; postexertional malaise; PEM, arousal; exercise; fMRI; autonomic; postural tachycardia; Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; ME/CFS; Gulf War Illness; GWI

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Behavioral Neuroscience

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