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Brain functional connectivity

Dr Leighton Barnden and his team at Griffith University have recently published more findings from their ME Research UK-funded study using advanced imaging techniques to look at brain abnormalities in people with ME/CFS.

Detailed MRI scans were used to investigate communication between different areas of the brain – or functional connectivity – in people with ME/CFS.

Functional connectivity was impaired between areas of the brain involved in movement, cognitive function, sensory processing, the sleep–wakefulness cycle, self-awareness and autonomic responses.

In addition, functional connectivity was associated with respiration, length of illness, fatigue severity, pain intensity and memory scores.

These results highlight the involvement of the brainstem and cerebellum in the mechanisms underlying ME/CFS, and suggest that there are ongoing changes in the brain.

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