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 Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

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: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation

12.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>