The millions of people who have chronic sinusitis deal not only with stuffy noses and headaches, they also commonly struggle to focus, and experience depression and other symptoms that implicate the brain’s involvement in their illness. New research links sinus inflammation with alterations in...
The scans enabled them to identify 22 people with moderate or severe sinus inflammation as well as an age- and a gender-matched control group of 22 with no sinus inflammation. Functional MRI (fMRI) scans, which detect cerebral blood flow and neuronal activity, showed these distinguishing features in the study subjects:
- decreased functional connectivity in the frontoparietal network, a regional hub for executive function, maintaining attention and problem-solving;
- increased functional connectivity to two nodes in the default-mode network, which influences self-reference and is active during wakeful rest and mind-wandering;
- decreased functional connectivity in the salience network, which is involved in detecting and integrating external stimuli, communication and social behavior.