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Brain imbalance linked to chronic fatigue syndrome by scientists

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 2 months ago

A recent study conducted by scientists has provided compelling evidence for abnormalities in the brain and immune systems of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). This study, considered one of the most rigorous investigations to date, sheds light on the biological basis for the illness that can cause disabling fatigue.

The study, which involved 17 patients, found a link between imbalances in brain activity and feelings of fatigue, suggesting that these changes could be triggered by abnormalities in the immune system. The findings need to be confirmed in a larger group before they can be considered a roadmap towards new treatments. Additionally, it is not clear to what extent the findings apply to long Covid, as the patients were recruited and assessed before the pandemic.

Results from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans showed lower activity in a brain region called the temporal-parietal junction (TPJ) in people with ME/CFS. This may disrupt the way the brain decides how to exert effort, leading to fatigue. The study also found abnormalities in the motor cortex, a brain region that directs the body's movements, during fatiguing tasks.

The study's authors suggest that fatigue in ME/CFS could be caused by a dysfunction of brain regions that drive the motor cortex, altering patients' tolerance for exertion and their perception of fatigue. The study also revealed elevated heart rates, delayed blood pressure normalization after exertion, and changes to patients' T cells, indicating potential ongoing immune response in the body.

Scientists involved in the study see these findings as a crucial step towards understanding the biological mechanisms behind ME/CFS. The lack of clear biological evidence for the illness has historically led to patients being dismissed and stigmatized, with limited effective treatment options available. This study represents a significant advancement in the field, offering hope for improved understanding and potential treatment strategies for patients with ME/CFS.

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