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ME/CFS South Australia Inc supports the needs of sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and related illnesses. We do this by providing services and information to members.


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Does brain fog from CFS start in the heart?

Saturday 1 December 2012


From's Adrienne Dellwo:


BrainDoes Brain Fog from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Start in the Heart?

By Adrienne Dellwo, Guide
November 28, 2012

Research Brief

New research suggests that the cognitive function ("brain fog") of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) may be due to irregularities in the heart, which in turn stem from impaired vagus nerve activity.

Brain fog is one of the most pervasive symptoms of ME/CFS, and it can be a major debilitating factor. Brain fog can include short-term memory problems, inability to multitask, comprehension difficulties, language problems, and disorientation.

In the study, researchers monitored cardiac activity while participants performed cognitive tasks. They found:

  • People with ME/CFS were slower than healthy controls
  • Heart-rate variability was low and unresponsive in the ME/CFS group
  • The heart rate was more reactive after cognitive challenges
  • Heart-rate recovery was slow after cognitive challenges
  • Heart-rate variability was an accurate predictor of cognitive outcome

Those cardiac functions are regulated by the vagus nerve. Dysfunction of the vagus nerve has long been suspected in ME/CFS, especially when it involves a symptom called neurally mediated hypotension (dizziness upon standing due to a sudden drop in blood pressure.)

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The above originally appeared here.


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