Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)
Myalgic encephalomyeltis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is an illness that affects nearly 0.5 % of the general population. It is characterized by profound fatigue lasting at least six months and accompanied by numerous somatic symptoms. Although multiple biological and psychological mechanisms for ME/CFS have been investigated, a unifying disease concept is still lacking. In particular, little is known about the underlying neural mechanisms which initiate and chronically sustain fatigue.
Chronic fatigue has been linked to aberrant autonomic nervous system activity involving the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, pain-related pathways, and abnormal brain activity. Brain areas commonly associated with mental fatigue include the parietal, cingulate, inferior frontal and superior temporal cortices, and the cerebellum and have been reported in patients with ME/CFS as well as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer. These brain regions are known to contribute to cognitive function, including working memory