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Neurochemical abnormalities in chronic fatigue syndrome: a pilot magnetic resonance spectroscopy study at 7 Tesla, 2021, Godlewska et al

Discussion in 'ME/CFS research' started by Andy, Oct 6, 2021.

  1. Andy

    Andy Committee Member

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    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Abstract

    Rationale
    Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a common and burdensome illness with a poorly understood pathophysiology, though many of the characteristic symptoms are likely to be of brain origin. The use of high-field proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) enables the detection of a range of brain neurochemicals relevant to aetiological processes that have been linked to CFS, for example, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.

    Methods
    We studied 22 CFS patients and 13 healthy controls who underwent MRS scanning at 7 T with a voxel placed in the anterior cingulate cortex. Neurometabolite concentrations were calculated using the unsuppressed water signal as a reference.

    Results
    Compared to controls, CFS patients had lowered levels of glutathione, total creatine and myo-inositol in anterior cingulate cortex. However, when using N-acetylaspartate as a reference metabolite, only myo-inositol levels continued to be significantly lower in CFS participants.

    Conclusions
    The changes in glutathione and creatine are consistent with the presence of oxidative and energetic stress in CFS patients and are potentially remediable by nutritional intervention. A reduction in myo-inositol would be consistent with glial dysfunction. However, the relationship of the neurochemical abnormalities to the causation of CFS remains to be established, and the current findings require prospective replication in a larger sample.

    Open access, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00213-021-05986-6
     
    Ali, MSEsperanza, merylg and 25 others like this.
  2. ME/CFS Skeptic

    ME/CFS Skeptic Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The authors write:
    So this could have been rather interesting. Unfortunately, these authors from Oxford University used the Fukuda criteria (10/22 patients were taking antidepressants) and they focused on a brain region (the pregenual ACC) because of their previous work on depression.

    They write:
    So I'm a bit concerned that they might have focused their powerful MRI imaging on the wrong area because of their model and views of CFS.

    Nonetheless, the lower levels of myo-inositol levels in patients could be interesting as it might be related to the functioning of glial cells.
     
    Ali, MSEsperanza, Campanula and 18 others like this.
  3. DokaGirl

    DokaGirl Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Is there scientific evidence that pwME have "disturbed mental function" in: "evaluating bodily sensations, experience of the body state, (and) pain inhibition?

    Do the authors mean this in a physiological sense, or just a functional somatic syndrome sense?

    The belief that pwME intensely focus on symptoms is highly questionable.

    Many pwME are working as hard as they can. We have to ignore symptoms such as OI to get things done. For example shopping and waiting in line. Symptoms of faintness and weakness have to be coped with somehow in order that pwME can get their groceries. All other activities of daily living have to be dealt with the same way. With shear determination.
     
    Ali, merylg, Campanula and 11 others like this.
  4. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It's a difficult one to pin down, as it can just mean that our brains are giving us duff information. We get bulletins telling us that we're too hot / too cold/ in pain, even though there's no physiological reason for those signals to be sent. It doesn't make the sensations any less uncomfortable, though, and there's little we can do to stop the signals. A goodly proportion of healthy women find that their thermostats and pain sensors go totally off-piste around the menopause, so it's hardly uncommon or unknown.

    On the other hand, some researchers are clearly suggesting that we're obsessing over our symptoms and if we just went outside for a nice walk in the fresh air, we'd soon forget about them...
     
    Ali, Michelle, Peter Trewhitt and 3 others like this.
  5. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    To be pedantic technically we can only say that there is no environmental or external reason for ‘these signals to be sent’ or these sensations to be experienced. There could a physiological reason for theses sensations, we just do not currently know.
     
    Ali, Snowdrop, Campanula and 6 others like this.
  6. Creekside

    Creekside Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I can't recall anyone claiming reduction in ME symptoms from taking lecithin (leads to myo-inositol ) oranges or cantaloupes. Oranges (a source of myo-inositol) were the initial immediate trigger of what became my ME, although that might not be related to myo-inositol (but can't rule that out).
     
    Ali, Milo and Peter Trewhitt like this.
  7. Marky

    Marky Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Why on earth would they include patients who took antidepressants. That clearly makes the results highly questionable
     
    MSEsperanza, Ali, Michelle and 5 others like this.
  8. Campanula

    Campanula Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'm not so sure about this...

    I take it your refering to the theory that ME-symptoms are caused by central sensitization here? I've not seen convincing data that this is the main mechanism behind ME-symptoms, although it could certainly be a part of the reason. I find it more plausible that pain signals come from lactate accumulation or oxidative stress or some sort of physiological process that's not been described yet, precisely because so many researchers have taken for granted that there is no dysfunction in the muscles.

    It's hard to find strong evidence for something when the majority of the medical community have gone out of their way not to search for it...
     
    Ali, Simbindi, Kitty and 1 other person like this.
  9. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I don't really have a theory, I've no medical training or understanding.

    I just know that when my brain was sending out signals that I was so hot my upper body needed to be drenched in sweat – my clothes and hair would literally look as if I'd just been out in a downpour – I could find no evidence that I wasn't at absolutely normal temperature. It's a routine feature of the menopause, though it's not always quite that bad for everyone (I needed to change my top half clothing every hour or so :rolleyes:).

    The dysregulation in ME is less severe, but it could be the result of the same faulty thermostat mechanism. It certainly feels just like it.
     
    Trish, Mij and Peter Trewhitt like this.
  10. Denise

    Denise Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I know male PwME who have hyperhidrosis and similar to @Kitty have had to change top half clothing with great frequency.
    Have also heard that some of these folks who also have POTS have had sympatholysis done in the thoracic region to try to ameliorate the POTS and as a "side effect" it has helped alleviate some of the underarm sweating though the sweating has transferred to other areas (in one person, the scalp) but is less of a problem than before the sympatholysis.
     
    Ali, Mij and Peter Trewhitt like this.
  11. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    No, not yet – swimming and laundry day, so I've only just sat down! I'll come back on later when I've had some food. :)
     
  12. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I don't know if it works for ME hyperhidrosis and/or guys, but I wouldn't have been able to carry on working if my GP hadn't talked to colleagues about relief for people who can't take HRT, and someone had suggested gabapentin. LITERALLY save my sanity! I think I took it for about three and a half years, easing the dose down every few months to see if the symptoms had subsided enough for me to wean myself off it. And they did.

    16 years later they still haven't gone away completely, but are a mere shadow of what they used to be! :laugh:
     
    Ali, Hutan, Denise and 2 others like this.
  13. ME/CFS Skeptic

    ME/CFS Skeptic Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Just had a look and this 2019 paper by Younger found higher levels of myo-inositol (compared to creatine in the Right Palladium) while this paper reports lower levels (compared to water or N-acetylaspartate in the anterior cingulate cortex).
     

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