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Skeletal Muscle Weakness Often Occurs In Patients With ME/CFS
Thursday 18 June 2020
Skeletal Muscle Weakness Often Occurs in Patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ME/CFS
• Altered muscle function often occurs in ME/CFS patients.
• Reduced handgrip strength is proportional to lowered physical performance
• Muscle fatigue could result from altered muscle excitability at work
• Reduced central motor command is also documented in relation of encephalomyelitis
• Subgroups of ME/CFS patients without muscle weakness are documented
This commentary complements data reported in Clinical Biomechanics  reporting reduced maximal handgrip strength in numerous patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) in proportion to their lowered maximal physical performances.
The causes of muscle weakness in these patients are open to discussion.
Literature data reveal a reduction of central command to skeletal muscles in some ME/CFS patients, related to encephalomyelitis.
Altered muscle membrane excitability, that is “peripheral fatigue”, is also described in relation with an imbalance of the oxidant / anti-oxidant status.
On the other hand, subgroups of chronically fatigued patients with clinical criteria of ME/CFS do not suffer from any muscle weakness.
Thus, clinical data do not sufficiently clarify homogeneous ME/CFS pathology.
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