Brain Scans Show Distinct Differences in Sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is estimated to affect 1 million to 4 million people in the U.S. yet it remains scientifically misunderstood and typically dismissed by the general public.  For those who suffer from the relentless symptoms of CFS – malaise, inability to concentrate, tender muscles & joints, headaches and crippling fatigue – it’s most certainly real and at times can be debilitating.

Validating the realness of CFS, a new study out of Standford University School of Medicine sheds a bright light upon the syndrome. This study revealed how those with CFS actually have differences in their brains compared to normal brains.

Pain imageMost significant was the finding of a reduction in the amount of white matter – a network of long fibers that communicate between nerve cells. CFS is linked to chronic inflammation that is potentially caused by our immune system’s response to a viral infection – and such inflammation could be happening throughout the body.

Damaged white matter wasn’t really a surprise, but further investigation uncovered something profound that they didn’t expect. Brain scans revealed abnormalities in a bundle of nerve fibers in the right hemispheres of CFS patients. This bundle, called the right arcuate fasciculus, connects the frontal and temporal lobes and in the brain scans they had an abnormal appearance. As explained by their article, researchers distinguished this as a fairly strong correlation between the degree of abnormality in a CFS patient’s right arcuate fasciculus and the severity of the patient’s condition.

While more research is needed to further pinpoint these changes in the brain’s white matter and determine potential causes for CFS, this study provides comprehensive clinical evidence that CFS creates real physiological symptoms in the body.  John Barnes Myofascial Release can help manage the symptoms of CFS.  It may also lessen general inflammation through the release of interleukin-8 into the tissues during holds five minutes or longer.

Read the full study from Standford University here:

https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2014/10/study-finds-brain-abnormalities-in-chronic-fatigue-patients.html

 

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