new explanation for cfs: makes for interesting reading

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by jfrustrated, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. jfrustrated

    jfrustrated New Member



    The New South Wales University (Australia) has just published findings suggesting that cfs results from brain damage caused by a virus. The virus clears up - but the brain damage stays and the brain issues all sorts of wrong information which causes the body to develop the cfs symptoms. This is not to say that cfs is imaginary or psychological - quite the reverse. The brain damage is visible.

    You might like to check this out on the following web site - if I am allowed to show it. Very readable. www.abc.net.au/news/newsitem and go from there.

    If the web site does not appear you can track down the details by typing in
    ABC Newsonline or go to the New South Wales University page.

    Unfortunately, the cause is just a suggested cause and there is no mention of resulting treatment.
  2. amymb74

    amymb74 New Member

    Brain injury may cause chronic fatigue
    Helen Carter
    ABC Science Online
    Thursday, 2 March 2006



    Inflammation after infection with the Epstein-Barr virus might trigger temporary brain damage (Image: NASA)

    Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) might be caused by a temporary 'brain injury' during the early, inflammatory stages of glandular fever, according to Australian scientists.

    "We believe that parts of the brain which control perception of fatigue and pain are damaged during the acute infection phase of glandular fever," says lead researcher, Professor Andrew Lloyd from the University of New South Wales.

    The researchers, who publish their study this week in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, believe the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes glandular fever, might trigger CFS in some people.

    While most people with glandular fever recover in several weeks, disabling symptoms including prolonged fatigue can last for at least six months, known as CFS.

    The scientists found the virus itself does not cause this ongoing fatigue but they hypothesise that a 'hit and run' brain injury does.

    "If you're still sick several weeks after infection, it seems the symptoms aren't being driven by the activity of the virus in the body, it's happening in the brain," Lloyd says.

    The study is the first to follow patients within a few weeks of acute glandular fever infection for a year.

    It tracked 39 people including eight who were sick for at least six months, and 31 who recovered quickly.

    Levels of virus in the blood were no different in patients who recovered quickly from those whose fatigue lasted more than six months.

    "It's not the virus or an ongoing inflammatory response directed at the virus causing ongoing symptoms. But an inflammatory process in the acute illness might disturb brain function and make it stay symptomatic," Lloyd says.

    The mystery of CFS
    Lloyd says CFS affects one in 100 Australians and millions worldwide.

    It is a group of symptoms for which there is no medical or psychiatric explanation including unrefreshing sleep, muscle and joint pain, concentration and memory difficulties and prolonged fatigue.

    People with CFS are often unable to work or attend school.

    Theories about causes range from muscle and immune system to psychiatric problems, hormonal changes and the growing body of data linking infectious diseases, including glandular fever, as a trigger.

    The scientists will test their hypothesis by doing brain scans on study participants.

    For more information on CFS, see the ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Association of Australia's website.

    Related Stories
    Sedentary kids at risk of chronic fatigue, News in Science 6 Oct 2004
    Tired all the time, Health Matters ABC Health Online 19 Aug 2004
    Chronic fatigue syndrome, Health Matters ABC Health Online 22 Aug 2002


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