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Cerebral perfusion in chronic fatigue syndrome and depression

  • Siobhan M. Machale (a1), Stephen M. Lawrie (a1), Jonathan T. O. Cavanagh (a1), Mike F. Glabus (a1), Catherine L. Murray (a1), Klaus P. Ebmeier (a1) and Guy M. Goodwin (a2)...
Abstract
Background

Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and depressive illness share many, but not all, features.

Aims

To test the hypothesis that patients with CFS have abnormal cerebral perfusion, that differs from that in patients with depressive illness.

Method

We recruited 30 patients with CFS who were not depressed, 12 depressed patients and 15 healthy volunteers. Regional cerebral perfusion at rest was assessed using region of interest (ROI) and voxel-based statistical parametric mapping (SPM) techniques.

Results

On SPM analysis there was increased perfusion in the right thalamus, pallidum and putamen in patients with CFS and in those with depressive illness. CFS patients also had increased perfusion in the left thalamus. Depressed patients differed from those with CFS in having relatively less perfusion of the left prefrontal cortex. The results were similar on ROI analysis.

Conclusions

Abnormal cerebral perfusion patterns in CFS subjects who are not depressed are similar but not identical to those in patients with depressive illness. Thalamic overactivity may be a correlate of increased attention to activity in CFS and depression; reduced prefrontal perfusion in depression may be associated with the greater neuropsychological deficits in that disorder.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor K. P. Ebmeier, Department of Psychiatry, Edinburgh University, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Morningside Park, Edinburgh EH10 5HF, UK
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Declaration of interest

Study funded by the Scottish Home and Health Department and the Wellcome Trust.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Cerebral perfusion in chronic fatigue syndrome and depression

  • Siobhan M. Machale (a1), Stephen M. Lawrie (a1), Jonathan T. O. Cavanagh (a1), Mike F. Glabus (a1), Catherine L. Murray (a1), Klaus P. Ebmeier (a1) and Guy M. Goodwin (a2)...
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