Research has shown a chronic fatigue condition is linked to a poorly working nervous system. A team from Sussex University and Brighton Medical school has been conducting studies into ME or chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, a condition that causes pain all over the body. The study suggests the illnesses involve a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system known as dysautonomia.
Volunteers from the Sussex ME Society and people affected by fibromyalgia have been taken through procedures including heart rate and blood pressure measurement, brain scans, and blood tests. The study investigates for the first time how an induced inflammation significantly impacts on mood, pain, physical and mental fatigue.
Researchers have just presented their preliminary findings at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Madrid. Lead researcher Dr Jessica Eccles said: “We have some interesting initial findings linking baseline fatigue and pain scores to autonomic and inflammatory responses “We hope that the work we are doing will increase biomedical understanding of these diseases and help personalised management strategies in the future.“
The medical team is now keen to recruit healthy volunteers to form a control group. The study involves three visits to Brighton and Falmer and volunteers will spend about Five hours at each. Those interested should contact the research team on PainandfatigueStudy@bsms.ac.uk or call Dr Kristy Themelis on 01273 873121.