We are delighted to announce that ME Research UK has awarded funding to Dr Leighton Barnden at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia for his new study investigating brain-stem dysfunction in ME/CFS.
Many of the symptoms experienced by people with ME/CFS – including problems with concentration, memory, vision and heart-rate control – suggest abnormalities in the brain and nervous system. Indeed, research has demonstrated changes to the brain structure of ME/CFS patients, as well as impairments in the connectivity between different regions of the brain, and disruption to the autonomic nervous system (which regulates many body functions).
Dr Leighton Barnden and his team at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia have been particularly active in this area, and their many findings include demonstrating impairments in nerve signalling in the brain stem.
Having previously used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to show impairments in connectivity in the reticular activation system (which has important regulatory functions), the team now plans to investigate these further using a more advanced MRI scanner and methods.