Emotional stress is discussed as an independent risk factor of Coronary Artery Disease.
cardiovascular stress responses have been extensively studied in animal and human researches.
But the mechanisms of stress influence to CAD development remain unclear.
Functional MRI provides technical instruments to study neuronal activation during stress.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the brain activation zones using fMRI in response to electrical stress stimulation in patients with CAD and healthy volunteers.
Methods and Materials
aged from 29 to 77 years,
took part in the study.
They were divided into 2 groups: the experimental group (EG) included 23 patients with coronary artery disease and the control group (CG) included 25 healthy individuals.
The experimental procedure involved psychological testing,
registration of electroencephalogram (EEG),
galvanic skin response (GSR) and fMRI with electrocutaneous shock stimulation.
MRI was perform using 3.0 T scanner.
The data was processed and analyzed using SPM8.
In simulated stressful situations CAD patients differed from healthy individuals having increased values of galvanic skin response (GSR) and decreased power of the alpha rhythm in background electroencephalogram (EEG).
Psychological indicators of chronic stress (PSM-25 questionnaire) were significantly higher in the experimental group.
Functional MRI study analysis showed a decrease in the total volume of the activation zones in response to stress in patients with CAD (Fig.1,2).
Brain activation map in response to stress in healthy volunteers group you can see on fig.
Patients with CAD showed significant activation zone in the right insula and the left cingulate cortex in response to electrical stress stimulation comparing with healthy individuals.
Department of Tomography
Cardiology Research Center
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