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Brain Neuroinflammation Seen in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Last Updated: April 11, 2014.

Neuroinflammation markers are elevated in the brains of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis patients compared to healthy controls, according to a study published online March 24 in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

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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