Patients with chronic fatigue use additional areas of brain when using memory

Patients with chronic fatigue use additional areas of brain when using memory

(Medical Xpress)—Scientists studying the brain scans of chronic fatigue patients have found they use additional brain regions to do simple tasks requiring attention. This may explain the problems many sufferers have with memory. The findings are just one of several new studies being presented today [22 Apr] at the launch of a new UK-wide research body to advance understanding and treatment into this debilitating condition which affects over 600,000 people in the UK.

The UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative [UK CMRC] is a new initiative led by the country's leading experts in the field to expand medical studies into this complex set of disorders by facilitating greater expertise and improved co-ordination of research activities.

Researchers at the launch will be discussing some of the key issues they are facing and the areas that are making progress. They will also be explaining some of their thoughts for future research and their latest preliminary findings. These include, why some patients experience significant pain that is unresponsive to ; whether using a monoclonal antibody (Rituximab), which is highly successful in treating rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers and the profound fatigue experienced in patients with an immune known as , could be used as a test approach in order to understand more about fatigue mechanisms; and the link between blood pressure problems and CFS patients.

Professor Stephen Holgate, Chair of the UK CMRC and MRC Professor of Immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton, said: "For the first time the research community and funder in the UK have joined forces in this unique new collaboration to create a step change in the amount and quality of research into chronic fatigue and ME. By coming together in this way, the application of state-of-the-art to this complex group of conditions will greatly increase the chance of identifying pathways linked to disease causation and novel therapeutic targets. The key to success will be the engagement of scientists outside the field."

Dr Esther Crawley, Reader in Child Health in the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol, added: "CFS or ME can leave many people either housebound or confined to their bed for months or years, causing their lives to change drastically and continued employment to become impossible. We need to join forces with charities and funders to ensure we can best address the needs of patients suffering from this often life-changing condition which affects one to two per cent of adults and teenagers in Britain."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Is chronic fatigue a major cause of school absence?

Dec 13, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- New research into the cause of school absence finds that up to one per cent of secondary pupils could be suffering from chronic fatigue. The study, led by academics at the University of ...

Recommended for you

Depression tied to worse lumbar spine surgery outcomes

2 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Depressive symptoms are associated with poorer long-term outcome in patients undergoing surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), according to research published in the Oct. 1 issue of The Sp ...

Ebola death toll edging to 4,900 mark: WHO

2 hours ago

The death toll in the world's worst-ever Ebola outbreak has edged closer to 4,900, while almost 10,000 people have now been infected, new figures from the World Health Organization showed Wednesday.

US to track everyone coming from Ebola nations

3 hours ago

U.S. authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the U.S. from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. That includes returning American aid workers, federal health employees ...

US: Monitoring for all coming from Ebola nations

5 hours ago

U.S. health officials said Wednesday that they would begin monitoring all travelers—even Americans—who come to the U.S. from Ebola-stricken West African nations for 21 days, significantly expanding their vigilance.

User comments