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The neuroimmune basis of fatigue

Robert Dantzer, Cobi Johanna Heijnen, Annemieke Kavelaars, Sophie Laye, Lucile Capuron

Trends in Neurosciences, Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2014, Pages 39–46

Editors' comments: Dr. Ricardo Caponero

The exact nature and pathophysiology of fatigue remain largely elusive despite its high prevalence in physically ill patients. Studies on the relationship between the immune system and the central nervous system provide a new perspective on the mechanisms of fatigue.

  • Despite its prevalence, the pathophysiology of fatigue remains elusive.
  • We focus on the etiology of fatigue in chronic inflammatory diseases, cancer or neuropathologies.
  • Fatigue can be decomposed into specific neurobehavioral units such as decreased incentive motivation.
  • Convergent data from many disciplines point to the importance of inflammation in the pathophysiology of fatigue.
  • Peripheral inflammation can ultimately disrupt monoaminergic neurotransmission.
  • Resulting alteration in frontostriatal and/or insular networks underlies specific neurobehavioral aspects of fatigue.