The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
OverTheHills presents the first article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME international Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Ultra-Slow delta power in chronic fatigue syndrome

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by clive powney, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. clive powney

    clive powney Senior Member

    Not sure if this has already been posted - or it's significance :-
    link :
    Ultra-Slow delta power in chronic fatigue syndrome
    – Source: Psychiatry Research, Jul 6, 2012

    By Olivier Le Bon, et al.

    [Note: Delta brain waves are large low frequency waves (neuron oscillations) usually associated with the deepest stages of sleep or ‘slow-wave’ sleep; they begin to appear in stage 3 sleep but dominate by stage 4. Normally they stimulate the release of growth hormone from the pituitary; they stimulate release of the hormone prolactin (which has more than 300 known effects including immune regulation and water & salt balance in tissues); and they lead to a decrease in thyroid stimulating hormone activity.]

    The role of sleep in patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome is not fully understood. Studies of polysomnographic and quantitative sleep electroencephalographic (EEG) measures have provided contradictory results, with few consistent findings in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

    For the most part, it appears that delta EEG activity may provide the best discrimination between patients and healthy controls.

    A closer examination of delta activity in the very slow end of the frequency band is still to be considered in assessing sleep in CFS.

    The present preliminary study compared absolute and relative spectral power in conventional EEG bands and ultra-slow delta (0.5-0.8Hz) between 10 young female patients with the CFS and healthy controls without psychopathology.

    • In absolute measures, the ultra-slow delta power was lower in CFS, about one-fifth that of the control group.

    • Other frequency bands did not differ between groups.

    • Relative ultra-slow delta power was lower in patients than in controls.

    CFS is associated with lower ultra-slow (0.5-0.8Hz) delta power, underscoring the importance of looking beyond conventional EEG frequency bands.

    From a neurophysiological standpoint, lower ultra-slow wave power may indicate:

    • Abnormalities in the oscillations in membrane potential

    • Or a failure in neural recruitment* in those with CFS.

    *[‘Neural recruitment’ is defined as a tendency for a neural response to spread or increase with a prolonged stimulus.]

    Source: Psychiatry Research, Jul 6, 2012. PMID:22771174, by Le Bon O, Neu D, Berquin Y, Lanquart JP, Hoffmann R, Mairesse O, Armitage R. Brugmann University Hospital, Sleep Laboratory and Unit for Chronobiology and Hopital Erasme, Sleep Research Unit, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium. [Email:]
  2. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

    South Australia
    I wonder whether this 'neural recruitment' business itself is due to fatigue? It would be interesting to do the same study on similarly fatigued patients with other medical conditions.
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    I am not sure about neural recruitment and its exact definition in this context, but its worth noting that a potential diagnositic marker in CFS was found by Komaroff using spectral EEG coherance - we fail to integrate function in different parts of the brain like healthy people, and even different from those with depression. Bye, Alex
  4. Nielk



    I just got back the results of my EEG brain map. It shows very low delta waves. It's in the 1 % of normal population.

    The reason I had this brain map taken is because I am doing neurofeedback/brain training. With these results, they know exactly what to target in the brain in order to heal. I know that the subject of neurofeedback has been discussed in the
    past. I have personally seen benefits from it. I would be interested to hear if others have tried it and if they have seen any results from it.
    maddietod likes this.
  5. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

    Good info. Glad it's helping you! I would love to try it.

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