There are quite a few studies showing immune dysfunction, in particular immune suppression, associated with spinal cord injury. Some immunological findings for SCI, including reduced natural killer cell function and also a sort of perpetual/trapped inflammatory state that the spinal cord gets itself into and is unable to resolve once injured, seem to overlap with ME/CFS.
That's very interesting. I believe spinal cord injury (SCI) will only sever the sympathetic nervous system, but not the majority of the parasympathetic, which mostly routes through the vagus nerve (which of course runs outside of the spine). So SCI may be a way to study the effect of severing the sympathetic on the immune system.
I think CCI/AAI though can impinge both on the sympathetic and vagus nerve (parasympathetic). And both these two branches of the autonomic nervous system are thought to help orchestrate immune function.
I came across this video by Dr Ross Hauser, in whose opinion compression of the vagus nerve from CCI/AAI can cause symptoms such as POTS, MCAS, anxiety and leaky gut. See timecode 2:24.
Intriguingly, the audio frequencies at which cats purr are supposed to increase bone, tendon and ligament healing. The frequency of 120 Hz is shown effective for tendons, and this is one of the harmonics of normal cat purrs (which have a fundamental frequency of 25 to 50 Hz). This healing effect of purring is thought might explain why cats heal faster and better than dogs. See this article.
I am not sure what would be better, a recorded cat's purr or a 120 Hz sine wave.
A couple of weeks ago I tried passing a 120 Hz sine wave (created by a tone generator app on my computer) through a HiFi amplifier and into a HiFi loudspeaker, and turning the volume to a reasonable level. After just a few minutes, I found the sound quite annoying, and it also made my ears go a bit funny. So that experiment was quickly terminated.
So then I started thinking in terms of trying to create a 120 Hz mechanical vibration directly in the body tissues. The first idea that came to mind was women's sexual vibrators; I wondered if any might have a vibration frequency around 120 Hz.
Intriguingly, I came across this article on the use of a 120 Hz vibrator applied to the throat to improve the voice quality and vocal range of singers. Unfortunately the vibrator used in that article (the Lelo SIRI) is quite expensive, at £130.
After a bit more Googling, I came across a much cheaper and probably better solution: audio exciters. I'd never heard of these before, but basically they are gadgets that you glue or screw onto a surface such as a table, cupboard, etc, and they turn that surface into a loudspeaker. I was looking at this 30 watt audio exciter made by Monacor which costs just £15.
I've not bought this item yet, but I imagine that if you placed this exciter directly in contact with your neck, it would transfer the vibrations into the neck tissues quite efficiently. As with a regular loudspeaker, an audio exciter needs to be driven by a HiFi amplifier.
I think this experiment though would not be without risk. It might somehow make the ligaments worse, and/or the vibrations might not be good for the brain. This study looked at the effects of vibrations that people receive from traveling in motor vehicles, and found that there was a cumulative ill effect on the brain.
The motor vehicle rat study said it used 30 Hz vibrations at 0.5 G acceleration for 4 hours a day, 5 days a week for 2 weeks to simulate driving conditions. I am not sure how you would compare a 0.5 G acceleration to the power output by an audio exciter.
But another thing is that in a car, you will shake from bottom and up your neck.
If you try one of those power plates, where you are standing on a shaking plate, it's said to be very important to bend your knees, so the vibration don't go straight up your neck...if you put the same vibration directly to a point horizontal, you won't get the vibration up to your scull?
Another angle to consider is the reason why a mechanically compressed nerve or compressed brainstem becomes dysfunctional.
In both Jen and Jeff's cases, their POTS immediately resolved after CCI/AAI surgery. Since POTS is considered to be a caused by autonomic nervous system dysfunction, this suggests the alleviation of the compression by the surgery allowed the autonomic nerves to start functioning again.
This Wikipedia article on nerve compression explains that:
External pressure reduces flow in the vessels supplying the nerve with blood (the vasa nervorum). This causes local ischaemia, which has an immediate effect on the ability of the nerve axons to transmit action potentials. As the compression becomes more severe over time, focal demyelination occurs, followed by axonal damage and finally scarring.
So it seems that nerves start losing their ability to transmit signals when the blood vessels that supply their oxygen are compressed and the blood flow impeded. So it is an issue of lack of oxygen to the nerves that causes nerve transmission failure when a nerve is compressed.
Then demyelination, axonal damage and scarring result in more severe compression cases.
it's the clivo-axial angle which measures the angle the brainstem and spinal cord are bent through. Bending these too much, through too sharp an angle, can cause dysfunction.
Any clivo-axial angle of less that 135º is considered pathological, and is diagnostic for CCI. Normal healthy clivo-axial angles are in the range of 150º-180º, ie, more-or-less straight (more info in this post).
Now this article details an EDS patient with a clivo-axial angle of 132º, as measured on their MRI, which is clearly pathological. But in their MRI showing the extension position of the head (chin up, looking up), their clivo-axial angle went up to 146º, which is almost in the normal range. So looking up seems to straighten a too sharp clivo-axial angle (which is what you might expect).
So for those CCI ME/CFS patients whose main issue is a pathological clivo-axial angle, could simply looking upwards for some hours lead to improved ME/CFS symptoms? Because looking up will straighten a bent spinal cord and brainstem.
Looking upwards for several hours could easily be achieved by, for example, watching TV lying flat on your stomach (on a sofa, bed or on the floor), which will force you to tilt your head upwards to view the TV.
Your such a clever guy...
Can you find something useful around this research?
It would be non harmful and maybe not to expensive....
Even though it may not help for the neck, it might help for some of the symptoms?
One of my biggest issues are the complete shutdown of my brain,
and this is something I really could consider to try....
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325410.php Mild traumatic brain injuries can result in long-term cognitive issues. According to research in mice, a new, low-intensity form of magnetic stimulation could be the first effective treatment for these injuries.
Low-field magnetic stimulation of the brain is something I tried myself many years ago, before I developed ME/CFS. It's quite easy to build your own wire coil to apply a pulsating magnetic to your brain, all you need is around 600 meters of copper wire which you turn into a circular coil (solenoid) with a diameter of about 25 cm so that it fits over your head like a halo.
You then connect the coil to an HiFi amplifier, and pass a 10 Hz signal through the amplifier, which will create a pulsing magnetic field inside the circle of the coil.
When I was healthy, I got good results from applying this pulsed magnetic fields to my head. Just 10 or 20 minutes of treatment produced significant antidepressant effects, and also seemed to boost intelligence, creativity and cognitive abilities. I used it quite often.
Unfortunately since getting ME/CFS, my home-made magnetic pulsing coil no longer seems to boost my mood, and no longer seems to give me a cognitive improvement (it does not help brain fog). The flat mood of ME/CFS does not seem to respond to this magnetic brain stimulation. And it does not seem to help any ME/CFS symptoms.
@Hip Looking up is definitely problematic for me. Increases my orthostatic issues. I would hazard a guess that if your head doesn't align well over your shoulders, looking up increases compression. I started Egoscue and was told one of my main posture issues is my shoulders curl forward, causing my head to be even more forward with almost no support from the shoulders. I was also instructed not to look up during the applicable exercises until the posture is better and my neck has some support from below.
My guess is that if you have a pathological clivo-axial angle and nothing else, then possibly looking up might alleviate symptoms, only because this straightens the angle a bit. But this might not apply to other types of CCI.