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British Journal Radiology: CFS/ME Structural Brain Changes

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Firestormm, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. fla

    fla Senior Member

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    Montreal, Canada
    Generally all the scientific publications discussed on PR raise my hopes. This one, finding reduced grey matter, scares me because it suggests possible permanent damage even after a cure is found. Strange how so much research is done in this field any yet the average doctor knows next to nothing about our illness.
    Dolphin likes this.
  2. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    The uncontrolled De Lange et al CBT study found an increase in grey matter volume over a period of time in the CFS group (but not the control group that didn't have CFS) - I think the gap was eight months.

    One interpretation is that the CBT did it.
    My preference is for the other alternative: as people's illness improved, which could have happened with the passage of time, the grey matter volume increased. Either way, it did go up in time in that study.
    fla likes this.
  3. Guido den Broeder

    Guido den Broeder *****

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    Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    Yes, but only very little, and some participants that reacted badly to the treatment were removed from the study.

    The original study detecting reduced gray matter vorlume is:

    Okada T, Tanaka M, Kuratsune H, Watanabe Y, Sadato N (2004), "Mechanisms underlying fatigue: a voxel-based morphometric study of chronic fatigue syndrome", BMC Neurology, Oct 4;4(1):14, PMID: 15461817 (full text)
  4. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    It would be ridiculous of them to suggest correlation equals causation when using no control group for a broadly defined condition known to improve in some people over time. Same with an uncontrolled study that Chalder was involved in, on cortisol levels after a course of CBT. Are these people who are responsible for researching our illness (shudder) supposed to be scientists or what, I guess not since most have medical or psychology training but no formal training in science?

    How did you find that out, wouldn't such an action on their behalf count towards scientific fraud?
  5. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    Then, why are follow up MRI/SPECT scans of ME patients BANNED by the NHS?

    Oh I'm sure they may try to evade that by saying "not banned, just discouraged as waste of NHS resources!"
    same thing in effect. Why prevent follow up neurological imaging of neurological patients except to actively prevent their treatment/recognition of their illness, which is a CRIMINAL act?
    (really want ot get hold of any written rules on that by the higher ups as proof of malfiescence)
  6. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Just to add to the thread here - NOT CBT - 10 years ago my MRI showed "patchy high signls" in the brain. My Neurologist did not explain but my GP said usually associated with MS. At that stage I had to accompnied everywhere, mostly bed-bound with severe recognition difficulties. Pressing on with the informed ME treatments/supplements the situation and thinking capacities improved gradually over time as general health improved - memory restored and not a CBT "therapist" in sight.

    So there are of course "structural" changes - nothing whatsoever to do with psyches and their mumbo jumbo hangers on. Now come on radiologists tell us what it is !
  7. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    this could possibly be relevant:

    http://psychcentral.com/news/2012/11/04/lonely-people-may-not-read-social-cues-well/47125.html
    This could possibly account for reports of CBT improving grey matter (simply by decreasing loneliness), depending on where the grey matter in question was located.

    I have not looked for the full text of this study at this point in time.
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  8. Guido den Broeder

    Guido den Broeder *****

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    There are a great many conditions that cause a reducation in gray matter, like apnea. Key is the location in the brain. That is different for each condition.

    Activation (not CBT) is known to diminish the reducation to some extent, but the effect is tiny compared to the damage caused by ME. And, of course, the extra activity can't be maintained if you suffer from this disease.

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