Low Brain Activity Seen in Chronic Fatigue (CME/CE)
For comparison, the investigators studied 41 age-, sex-, and race-matched individuals with no history of significant clinical depression and no current use of medication affecting immune or cognitive function.
All study participants underwent functional MRI scans while participating in a reward task involving simulated gambling.
The brain scans measured blood flow, and activation of the basal ganglia was determined by signal differences associated with winning and losing.
The MRI results showed significantly less activation of the right caudate nucleus ( P =0.014) and right globus pallidus ( P =0.019) in the patients with CFS versus the control group.
In the CFS group, reduced activation in the right globus pallidus correlated significantly with mental fatigue ( P =0.001), general fatigue ( P =0.011), and reduced activity ( P =0.02).
"The reduction in activity (in the CFS group) correlated with measures of fatigue; the greater the fatigue, the greater the reduction in activation," Unger and colleagues stated in their presentation.
Unger ER, et al "Decreased basal ganglia activation in chronic fatigue syndrome subjects is associated with increased fatigue" FASEB 2012.
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