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'Loss of Complexity' in ME/CFS

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Cort, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Raleigh, NC
    This is a kind of bizarre but interesting study. I don't pretend to understand what it means and they were just exploring activity patterns but I think this disease does entail a 'loss of complexity'. How interesting it is that they mention that the same thing occurs in aging and neurodegenerative diseases - how many of us have thought we feel like we're 80 years old at times.

    There is reduced heart rate variability - which connotes another kind of loss of complexity but the disease itself feels like a loss of complexity has occurred; it feels like one is functioning on a more primitive level. Spontaneity is reduced, physical movements are coarser, coordination suffers, cognition is impaired - many of the fine aspects of life seem to disappear under the mixed up, jumbled nature of the disease.

    So this loss of complexity fits with me; now if they could only explore the neurological source of that loss - rather than studying movement patters.

    "Reduced similarity across timescales was accompanied by an increase in fractal dimension or, alternatively, by a reduced fractal scaling exponent, in keeping with previous studies of complexity loss through ageing and neurodegenerative disease [12]. These findings support our hypothesis that CFS cases would show greater evidence of reduced complexity than controls and are in keeping with the model of disease as loss of complexity [11]."

    http://www.bpsmedicine.com/content/3/1/7
     
  2. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    "Loss of Complexity".

    Wow. Has the ring of accuracy doesn't it.
     
  3. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I completely agree! I feel on a mental and physical level less 'flexible', less spontaneous - less able to interact with a changing world. The complexity in my body/brain is longer the match it was for the complexity of the outside world. It could very well be that inability to handle the stimuli that comes in. Dr. Baraniiuk believes the 'gates' that control the flood of information to the brain have been jarred open in ME/CFS. No wonder that in this flood of stimuli the world might become 'too complex' for us.
     
  4. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Yes, I have noticed this!

    I can`t multi-task normally. Can`t cook and chat. In fact it is difficult to eat and chat, and do both consciously/well. I need to ask to have no music in the car even as a passenger if I want to be able to talk to someone. I have learned that I need to simplify and try to do one thing at a time. This is extra-challenging as my brain has moved into an ADD direction, scattered, moving off into one segueway (sp?) after the next.

    We have to be extra-smart and disciplined, then, to structure things so we can manage. And so self-forgiving or tolerant too.

    Cecelia
     
  5. JanisB

    JanisB Senior Member

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    I worked with heart rhythm variability in myself and my former practice for many years. The healthiest athletes have the most variability. Sick individuals, old people, and anyone with heart disease tends to have a lack of variability -- every heart beat the same duration. If you put this together with Cheney's theories on the reasons for a slow recovery from the lub in the lub dub of the heart :)-)[yes there are clearer ways to explain, but this is how I remember it], and our general muscle weakness, than it stands to reason that PWC's won't have good heart rate variability.

    What controls the variability? Good muscle tone, and an optimal relationship between the SNS and the PNS. Another area where most of us are lacking -- with poor autonomic regulation, low acetylcholine, poor epinephine/norepinephrine, and generally imbalanced neurotransmitters or high glutamate driving us in SNS arousal.

    Nerveexpress.com shows some pictures and presents some of the research on HRV.
    Janis
     
  6. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Vascular system, heart rate regulation

    Thank you, Janis, for that information and explanation. I noticed once when on a stationary bike which had a heart rate monitor that my heart rate didn`t go up when I was exercising more and tiring. I knew I was exerting myself as much as I reasonably could on the thing, and that heart rate was stuck on low.

    I easily feel faint and need to sit or lie down. Maintaining blood pressure upright isn`t automatic. What is most tiring is putting my head up and down. I stopped going to a yoga class years ago for that reason. It makes housecleaning tiring too, with the up and down for cleaning floors.

    Dr. Byron Hyde of www.nightingale.ca who has researched and written very intelligently about ME, thinks that some injury to the vascular system might be at the base of ME, but I don`t understand more than this.

    People who have had heart attacks or serious arrythmias are put on Beta Blockers which keep the heart rate going at one single slow rate constantly. So these folks are often short of breath, get fatigued and depressed easily. Maybe there is a similarity here...

    All my best to you--

    Cecelia
     

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