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Aperiodic brain activity


Senior Member

The news item is about a possible explanation for why shock therapy actually works for depression and other brain disorders.

"In the first study, the researchers used electroencephalography (EEG) to study the brain activity of patients who received ECT for depression. In the second, they looked at a similar form of treatment called magnetic seizure therapy (MST), which induces a seizure using magnets instead of electrodes. What they found was that both therapies produced increased aperiodic activity in the patient’s brains.

“Aperiodic activity is like the brain’s background noise, and for years, scientists treated it that way and didn’t pay much attention to it,” said Smith. “However, we’re now seeing that this activity actually has an important role in the brain, and we think electroconvulsive therapy helps restore this function in people with depression.”

Neurons constantly cycle through periods of excitation and inhibition that correspond to different mental states. Aperiodic activity helps boost inhibitory activity in the brain, effectively slowing it down."

There's nothing in that that suggests aperiodic activity is involved with ME, but as a little-studied mechanism of brain function, it can't be automatically ruled out either. Maybe the wrong levels or wrong type of this "background noise" would result in brainfog, "unrefreshing sleep", or other ME symptoms.

This seems like the kind of hypothesis that it's easy and cheap to test. Surely there are some EEGs of PWME already available somewhere, and the aperiodic activity can be compared with existing EEGs of PwithoutME.