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CDC Study Suggests Reward Center of the Brain is Rather Quiet in CFS





Cort Johnson

Phoenix Rising - Cort Johnson's Column

...Presenting complex chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) research in a way we can all understand.









Cort Johnson publishes the free Phoenix Rising newsletter and runs the website of the same name. An ME/CFS sufferer himself, since 2005 he has used his keen intellect to follow the latest developments in ME/CFS research and treatment and translate the often complicated concepts into language that the layman can understand. An active advocate Cort has been participating vigorously in the Campaign for a Fair Name to get CFS recognized as ME/CFS.




 Monday, May 21st, 2012:


A Very Unrewarding Ilness: CDC Study Suggests Reward Center of the Brain is Rather Quiet in CFS

Dr. Ronald Glaser - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Pathophysiology of EBV Infection 


by Cort Johnson


Chronic fatigue syndrome does appear to still be something of a hot media item…The latest CDC study made the news before it was published or even presented at a big conference. (This study was actually presented at the IACFS/ME Conference but somehow it didn’t make it out to the news wire there)
This study found that blood flows to the basal ganglia, a part of the brain involved in both motor activity and reward (what a combination)…was significantly reduced in people with ME/CFS during a card game. .Importantly, the more severely ill patients had low bloods to that area of the brain.
The study suggested that not only was ME/CFS a miserable disorder to have but that the portion of the brain that guides movement was tweaked…The news story focused on the ‘reward’ aspects of the basal ganglia but basal ganglia problems also play a role in other severely fatiguing disorders such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Unger, the CDC CFS chief, was saying all the right things “Every carefully controlled scientific study on CFS helps raise the credibility of this very complex illness. Even though our findings are preliminary . . . they do support a biologic [theory] about this illness.”
“A strength of the study is that we used some of the newest technology available to look at the function of regions of the brain that may be involved with CFS,” she said. “We hope the impact of our study will be to encourage further basic science investigation of CFS.”
We covered Andrew Miller’s presentation on the CDC study at the IACFS/ME conference here. Miller focus was a bit different and he believes that an infection may very well have triggered the basal ganglia problems in ME/CFS.


Read more at Phoenix Rising


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Forums




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