Interoception collects all information coming from
the body and is sustained by several brain areas
such as insula and cingulate cortex.
Here, researchers used resting-state functional
magnetic resonance imaging to investigate functional
connectivity (FC) of networks implied in
interoception in patients with Illness anxiety
Scientists observed significantly reduced FC between
the left extrastriate body area (EBA) and the
paracentral lobule compared to healthy controls.
Moreover, the correlation analysis between
behavioural questionnaires and ROI to ROI FC showed
that higher levels of illness anxiety were related
to hyper-connectivity between EBA and amygdala and
Scores on a questionnaire for interoceptive
awareness were significantly correlated with higher
FC between right hippocampus and nucleus accumbens
bilaterally, and with higher connectivity between
left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and left
orbitofrontal cortex (OFC).
Last, patients showed increased interoceptive
awareness, measured by Self-Awareness Questionnaire
(SAQ), and reduced capability in recognizing
emotions, indicating inverse correlation between
interoception and emotional awareness.
Taken together the results suggested that, in
absence of structural and micro-structural changes,
patients with IADs show functional alteration in the
neural network involved in the self-body
representation; such functional alteration might be
the target of possible treatments.
For more information
Altered functional connectivity of interoception in
illness anxiety disorder