Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Depends on Nerve Growth Factor

brainA recent study published in Neurology and Neurophysiology reports an interesting discovery regarding the relationship between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). BDNF is a protein in our bodies that regulates our nervous systems and promotes nerve growth. BDNF also plays a role in muscle repair and regeneration. The researchers decided to compare MS and ME/CFS because patients afflicted with either disorder experience “pronounced fatigue” which vastly undermines their quality of life. More so, the underlying mechanisms of this fatigue are still unclear. When the researchers compared levels of BDNF in MS, ME/CFS, and healthy controls they found that both ME/CFS and MS patients had only 25% of the BDNF levels of health controls. Such a finding has many implications for ME/CFS research!

Here at the UF Center for Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research, we are also working on the underlying mechanisms of fatigue. We are currently using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the brain in order to identify the areas of the brain which are related to fatigue! We hope that our research will allow us to better diagnose and treat fatigue in the future.

For more information on our studies about chronic pain and fatigue, call us at (352) 265-8901 or email us at