Novel brain imaging study seeks answers to chronic fatigue mystery

University of the Sunshine Coast

Vibrant, bubbly and full of energy, 24-year-old occupational rehabilitation consultant Nadia was living her best life. Then the fatigue took hold.

Now, five years since her first symptoms of chronic fatigue appeared, she is taking part in a novel brain imaging study by the University of the Sunshine Coast seeking better, faster ways to diagnose and treat the debilitating syndrome that affects more than 24 million people worldwide.

“I find people do not understand how a twenty-something can be constantly fatigued,” says Nadia, who believes an unknown virus was the trigger for her illness.

“After I recovered from that virus, I was never quite the same. I never regained my energy.”

With no known cause, objective diagnostic test or cure, the study by UniSC’s Thompson Institute could be the key to finally pinpointing the neurobiological origin of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).

Lead researcher Dr Zack Shan says the world-first research is using MRIs to track brain activity in around 300 study participants to determine how the brain controls its blood flow to match its energy needs, to better understand the disease process of fatigue-related illnesses.

/University Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.