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An Etiological Model for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Author(s): Leonard A. Jason | Matthew Sorenson | Nicole Porter | Natalie Belkairous

Journal: Neuroscience & Medicine
ISSN 2158-2912

Volume: 02;
Issue: 01;
Start page: 14;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome | Kindling | Limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary Cxis

ABSTRACT
Kindling might represent a heuristic model for understanding the etiology of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Kindling occurs when an organism is exposed repeatedly to an initially sub-threshold stimulus re-sulting in hypersensitivity and spontaneous seizure-like activity. Among patients with ME/CFS, chronically repeated low-intensity stimulation due to an infectious illness might cause kindling of the limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Kindling might also occur by high-intensity stimulation (e.g., brain trauma) of the limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Once this system is charged or kindled, it can sustain a high level of arousal with little or no external stimulus and eventually this could lead to hypocortisolism. Seizure activity may spread to adjacent structures of the limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary axis in the brain, which might be responsible for the varied symptoms that occur among patients with ME/CFS. In addition, kindling may also be responsible for high levels of oxidative stress, which has been found in patients with ME/CFS.

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