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Neuroimaging characteristics of ME/CFS: a systematic review. Shan et al. 2020

Discussion in 'BioMedical ME/CFS Research' started by John Mac, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Full Title:
    Neuroimaging characteristics of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS): a systematic review.

    https://translational-medicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12967-020-02506-6
     
    JaneL, cassava7, Ravn and 18 others like this.
  2. Michiel Tack

    Michiel Tack Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Made a thread, trying the summarize the main conclusions of the review. Feel free to point out any mistakes



    2) First, the review notes that ME/CFS is an under-recognised disease because the selected studies were small and unimpressive. The sample size of the smaller group (patients or controls) in 40 out of the 63 articles were equal to or smaller than 16.

    3) Another problem: more than 80% of reviewed studies did not control for lifestyle differences. That’s a problem because physical activity levels can impact brain structures and functions.

    4)The authors write “that there is a pressing need to establish a collaborative neuroimaging databank for ME/CFS”. That would allow for bigger and better controlled studies. They also propose objective measurement of physical activity in both patients and controls.

    5) The most consistent finding was the following: 10/12 articles reported that ME/CFS patients either recruited additional brain regions or had a greater blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal changes than controls for cognitive tasks where they had the same performance.

    6) the authors also highlight abnormalities in the brainstem (caveat: most of these studies come from their own research group). Three studies reported hypoperfusion in the brain stem, however, two other studies didn’t.

    7) Several studies reported abnormalities in cerebral blood flow (CBF) in ME/CFS patients compared to controls. This review indicates however that overall, the findings have been inconsistent. 8 reported decreased global or regional CBF in ME/CFS, 6 couldn’t find differences.

    8) Other findings haven’t been replicated by multiple research groups or have shown inconsistent findings. I think there is a good rationale for more and better neuroimaging studies in ME/CFS.
     
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  3. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Just because I have no biological training and wondered:
    [​IMG]

    (If you don't get this meme I strongly suggest you check out Chubbyemu on Youtube, it's really good and you'll get the joke)
     
  4. Simone

    Simone Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Michelle, Simon M, cassava7 and 5 others like this.
  5. Simone

    Simone Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  6. Michiel Tack

    Michiel Tack Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    They put more emphasis on studies that reported changes in white and grey matter volume compared to the review by Shan.

    This review also problematically claims that "sMRI has shown evidence of treatment effects on brain volume" referring to the study by De Lange et al. that doesn't provide any robust evidence for this.

    The main finding however, seems consistent with the review of Shan et al. because the authors write:
     
  7. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for that very helpful summary @Michiel Tack
    Great that Shan is proposing objective measurement of activity.

    Re the collaborative neuroimaging databank for ME/CFS. That sounds good. Even just a neuroimaging databank for a range of controls would be a start - along with a whole lot of protocols for how and when to do the neuroimaging. There was the issue of even things like time of day impacting on imaging.
     
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  8. spinoza577

    spinoza577 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I found this article, re: neurovascular coupling, good to get an idea:

    Age-Dependent Impairment of Neurovascular and Neurometabolic Coupling in the Hippocampus
    Cátia F. Lourenço et al 2018
    PMC6056650
     
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