Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chronic fatigue syndrome linked to impaired stress response

25.11.2002


Subtle alterations of a hormonal stress response system called the HPA axis may play a role in chronic fatigue syndrome, according to a study in the November/December issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.



A smoothly functioning hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal, or HPA, axis helps the body remain stable under physiological and psychological stress through the actions of three hormones. First, the brain portion called the hypothalamus secretes a hormone that stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete a second hormone. This second hormone causes the adrenal glands to create cortisol.

Problems can occur at any point in this process and result in a variety of diseases. A research team led by Jens Gaab, Ph.D., of the Center for Psychobiological and Psychosomatic Research at the University of Trier in Trier, Germany; and the Institute of Psychology at the University of Zürich in Switzerland are proposing that chronic fatigue syndrome may be one of them.


Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by debilitating fatigue that can include including muscle aches, low-grade fever and sleep disturbances. Its cause is not understood.

Gaab and colleagues recruited approximately 40 study participants between the ages of 30 and 50. Half of the participants were chronic fatigue sufferers and the other half were healthy volunteers. All participants completed questionnaires measuring fatigue, depression and coping skills.

To examine the HPA axis in action, participants were given blood, cardiovascular and saliva tests before and after taking two stress tests. The first, a psychosocial stress test, involved preparing for a fake job interview and completing an arithmetic problem before an audience while under the impression they were being videotaped. The second test measured physical stress on a stationary bicycle.

Participants were also given a series of insulin injections known as the insulin tolerance test. "The ITT is considered the gold standard for testing the integrity of the entire HPA axis," Gaab says.

The researchers found significantly lower response levels of one of the HPA hormones, called ACTH, among the chronic fatigue patients compared with the healthy volunteers, during both stress tests as well as the ITT test. In fact, the chronic fatigue patients had significantly lower levels of the hormone before the testing even began.

"These results suggest that on a central level, subtle dysregulations of the HPA axis exist" in chronic fatigue syndrome patients, Gaab says, adding that future studies should include repeated evaluation of the HPA axis over the course of the syndrome.

Gaab and colleagues note that the possible role of cortisol in chronic fatigue syndrome still merits investigation, as low doses of hydrocortisone have shown some positive results in chronic fatigue patients.


Health Behavior News Service: (202) 387-2829 or www.hbns.org.
Interviews: Contact Dr. Jens Gaab at +41-1-634-3096 or jgaab@klipsy.unizh.ch .
Psychosomatic Medicine: Contact Victoria White at (352) 376-1611, ext. 5300, or visit www.psychosomaticmedicine.org.

Center for the Advancement of Health
Contact: Ira R. Allen
Director of Public Affairs
202.387.2829
press@cfah.org

Jens Gaab | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hbns.org/news/fatigue11-25-02.cfm
http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org
http://www.hbns.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>