Surgery / Otolaryngology

Chronic Sinusitis May Affect Neural Function

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Study supports inflammation as link between sinonasal inflammation, cognitive deficits
Sinonasal inflammation was associated with brain network changes that may precede cognitive symptoms in young people, according to a small proof-of-concept study.

Compared with healthy controls, people with chronic rhinosinusitis showed decreased functional connectivity within the frontoparietal network, a major functional hub central to modulating cognition, on resting-state functional MRI.

Additionally, these individuals had greater connectivity of this region to the default mode network (areas that are activated during introspective and self-referential processing) and decreased connectivity to the salience network (areas involved in detection and response to stimuli) on brain imaging, reported Aria Jafari, MD, of University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues.

People with more severe rhinosinusitis inflammation tended to have greater differences in functional connectivity compared with controls, they stated in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. Results were first reported at the 2020 American Rhinologic Society virtual meeting.

"Although definitive conclusions are not possible given the limitations inherent in the data set, including lack of rhinosinusitis-specific clinical information, our results present initial evidence for functional connectivity alterations as a potential basis for cognitive impairments seen in patients affected by chronic rhinosinusitis and may help direct future research," Jafari and colleagues said.

Yet the observed changes in functional connectivity were not accompanied by…
Nicole Lou
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