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Brain Neuroinflammation Seen in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Inflammation identified in certain brain regions tied to chronic fatigue symptoms

Brain Neuroinflammation Seen in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

FRIDAY, April 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Neuroinflammation markers are elevated in the brains of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) patients compared to healthy controls, according to a study published online March 24 in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Yasuhito Nakatomi, M.D., from the Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, and colleagues conducted 11C-(R)-(2-chlorophenyl)-N-methyl-N-(1-methylpropyl)-3-isoquinoline-carboxamide (11C-(R)-PK11195) PET scans in nine CFS/ME patients and 10 healthy controls. Participants also filled out questionnaires about fatigue, fatigue sensation, cognitive impairments, pain, and depression.

The researchers found that, in CFS/ME patients, binding potential (BPND) values in the cingulate cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus, midbrain, and pons were 45 to 199 percent higher, compared to healthy controls. The BPND values of 11C-(R)-PK11195 in the amygdala, thalamus, and midbrain of CFS/ME patients positively correlated with cognitive impairment. BPND values in the cingulate cortex and thalamus of CFS/ME patients positively correlated with pain score, while the BPND value in the hippocampus positively correlated with depression score.

"Neuroinflammation is present in widespread brain areas in CFS/ME patients, and was associated with the severity of neuropsychological symptoms," the authors write.

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