Objective: To determine if sensory sensitivity severity was associated with changes in relative cerebral blood flow(rCBF) at baseline. Method: Data came from a de-identified SPECT database. Factor-analysis of a clinical intake assessment determined factors related to sensory sensitivity including sensitivity to light, noise, smell, touch and symptoms of restlessness, fatigue, and mood changes. MANOVA was used to determine differences in rCBF between “high” and “low” groups in 17 regions of interest (ROIs) in the brain at baseline. “High” (n = 2955; Mage = 41; 43%male; 70%Caucasian) and “low” (n = 3304; Mage = 41; 68%male; 69%Caucasian) severity groups were classified as the top and bottom quartiles of respondent sum scores, respectively. Results: At the .05 level significant differences were found between groups in Limbic-Left and Right(F = 103.41,F = 84.8),Basal Ganglia-Left and Right(F = 119.34,F = 100.09), Cerebellum-Left and Right(F = 61.99,F = 91.79), Occipital-Left and Right(F = 52.72,F = 69.68), Temporal-Left and Right(F = 6.06,F = 47.97), Parietal-Right(F = 15.83), Frontal-Right(F = 26.23), Motor-Left(F = 22.14), and Vermis(F = 21.37), Pillai's Trace = .027,F(16, 6242) = 10.786. Conclusion: Sensory sensitivity causes distress in many neurological and psychiatric disorders. Research shows that brain regions involved in attention and awareness are also indicated in sensory sensitivity. Additionally, sensitivity can cause emotional distress in individuals. This may explain the differences in rCBF seen in the Limbic-Left and Right, Basal Ganglia-Left and Right, Cerebellum-Left and Right, Occipital-Left and Right, Temporal-Left and Right, Frontal-Right and Parietal-Right as those regions are associated with attention, awareness, emotions and sensory processing. Further research is warranted to establish which brain regions are activated in “high” sensory sensitivity groups to lend insight into the mechanism behind their distress and lead to treatment approaches for both the symptoms and the emotional impairment caused by them.
Examining Effects of Sensory Sensitivity Severity on Cerebral Blood Flow
K Ethridge, S Harcourt, K Diah, C Golden, D Amen, K Willeumier, D Taylor; B-15
Examining Effects of Sensory Sensitivity Severity on Cerebral Blood Flow. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2016; 31 (6): 618. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acw043.90
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