new study on muscle function in M.E./CFS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Bluebottle, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle New Member

    A new research study adds further support to the view that muscle tissue abnormalities play a role in the pathogenesis of ME/CFS - see abstract below.

    The (UK) MEA is currently funding research into muscle function in ME/CFS at the University of Newcastle - see report in the May issue of ME Essential magazine.

    More information on other research into muscle abnormalities in ME/CFS can be found in section 5:3 of ME/CFS/PVFS - An Exploration of the Key Clinical Issues - booklet available from the MEA on the pdf website ORDER FORM


    Functional characterization of muscle fibres from patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: case-control study.

    'Functional characterization of muscle fibres from patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: case-control study.'

    Pietrangelo T, Toniolo L, Paoli A, Fulle S, Puglielli C, Fan X00f2 G, Reggiani C.
    Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2009 April-June;22(2):427-436.
    PMID: 19505395 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

    Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disabling condition characterized by unexplained chronic fatigue that impairs normal activities. Although immunological and psychological aspects are present, symptoms related to
    skeletal muscles, such as muscle soreness, fatigability and increased lactate accumulation, are prominent in CFS patients. In this case-control study, the phenotype of the same biopsy samples was analyzed by determining

    i) fibre-type proportion using myosin isoforms as fibre type molecular marker and gel electrophoresis as a tool to separate and quantify myosin isoforms, and

    ii) contractile properties of manually dissected, chemically made permeable and calcium-activated single muscle fibres. The results showed that fibre-type proportion was significantly altered in CSF samples, which showed a shift from the slow- to the fast-twitch phenotype. Cross sectional area, force, maximum shortening velocity and calcium sensitivity were not significantly changed in single muscle fibres from CSF samples. Thus, the contractile properties of muscle fibres were preserved but their proportion was changed, with an increase in the more fatigue-prone, energetically expensive fast fibre type. Taken together, these results support the view that muscle tissue is directly involved in the pathogenesis of CSF and it might contribute to the early onset of fatigue typical of the skeletal muscles of CFS patients.

  2. Spinetti

    Spinetti New Member

    Fatigue is generally subjective, but muscle function can be measured objectively.

    This from the BBC Science & Nature website:

    Slow twitch muscle fibres are good for endurance activities like long distance running or cycling. They can work for a long time without getting tired. Fast twitch muscles are good for rapid movements like jumping to catch a ball or sprinting for the bus. They contract quickly, but get tired fast, as they consume lots of energy.

    Most of your muscles are made up of a mixture of both slow and fast twitch muscle fibres. But, your soleus muscle in your lower leg and muscles in your back involved in maintaining posture contain mainly slow twitch muscle fibres. And muscles that move your eyes are made up of fast twitch muscle fibres.

    Chickens have fast and slow twitch muscle, too. Dark meat, like in chicken legs, is mainly made up of slow twitch fibres. White meat, like in chicken wings and breasts, is largely made up of fast twitch muscle fibres. Chickens use their legs for walking and standing, which they do most of the time. This doesn't use much energy. They use their wings for brief bursts of flight. This requires lots of energy and the muscles involved tire very quickly.

    Slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibres make energy in different ways
    Muscles that contain a lot of slow twitch fibres are red, because they contain lots of blood vessels. Slow twitch muscle fibres rely on a rich supply of oxygenated blood as they use oxygen to produce energy for muscle contraction.

    Fast twitch muscle fibres don't use oxygen to make energy, so they don't need such a rich blood supply. This is why fast twitch muscles are lighter in colour than muscles that contain a lot of slow twitch muscle fibres.

    Fast twitch muscle fibres can produce small amounts of energy very quickly whereas slow twitch muscles can produce large amounts of energy slowly.

    Thanks for posting!
  3. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member


    Thanks both!

  4. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    are they saying that the muscles of people with CFS/ME actually change from slow twitch to fast twitch?

    oh, and caledonia, my arms also get tired WAY more quickly than my legs - even when doing things that would seem to use the legs a lot more than the arms, like going for a walk.....when my legs refuse to function, then I know I am REALLY doing poorly
  5. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    arms much more severely affected from onset of illness, also.