Modifications émotionnelles dans la sclérose en plaques : étude en neuropsychologie et neuroimagerie

Abstract : Emotional disorders in multiple sclerosis (MS) are frequently described as difficulties in recognizing facial expression. Yet, emotional experience is insufficiently studied in MS, and its neurobiological correlates stays never explored. Moreover, interaction between emotional disorder and other variable remains little documented, especially for alexithymia, a very frequent trouble in MS which could also cause emotional disturbances. The scope of this work is to explore positive and negative emotions in MS, with a focus on the recognition and experience dimensions. Concerning the emotional experience, brain functional activation correlates are also explored in MS overall, and in alexithymics versus non alexithymics MS subjects especially. A first study confirmed the difficulty for MS patient in recognizing facial emotions, and those difficulties were more marked for negative emotions. This study also highlights a more scattered emotional experience in MS, with a global exacerbation of their pleasant as well as unpleasant emotional feeling. A second study with fMRI shows that this scattered emotional experience was sustained by more brain functional variability during the emotional task. It takes place in brain structures known for their implication for the subjective feeling construction. Further diffusion imaging analyses support the view of a brain dysconnexion in those functional anomalies centred on limbic loop and fronto-insula network, also called salience network. A third study highlights a specific contribution of alexithymia in brain activity for hedonics experience, centred on insula deactivations whereas anhedonics experience seems to be influenced by the diseases and comorbid alexithymia. Brain diffusion analyses were independent of the alexithymia status. Thus, MS patients show difficulties in identifying emotion and have modifications of their own pleasant and unpleasant emotional experience. The frequent comorbid alexithymia in MS exacerbates those troubles in the same way as the lesion phenomenon of MS. Considering the implications that emotional disorders may have for MS patients as well as their familial, social and professional entourage, it seems essential to take these aspects into account for a better management of MS.
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Line Pfaff. Modifications émotionnelles dans la sclérose en plaques : étude en neuropsychologie et neuroimagerie. Neurosciences [q-bio.NC]. Université de Strasbourg, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018STRAJ022⟩. ⟨tel-02042981⟩

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