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Mayo Clinic Trial of Amygdala Retraining for CFS and FM Now Recruiting

  [ 71 votes ]   [ 4 Comments ] • January 12, 2010

On Jan 11, the Mayo Clinic Rochester (Minnesota) listed “A Pilot Study of Amygdala Retraining Program in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia” with

This six-month trial of Ashok Gupta’s Amygdala Retraining Program™ ( will include a pilot cohort of 30 patients.

The trial description states:

“The purpose of this pilot study is to gather preliminary data on the efficacy and feasibility of the Amygdala Retraining Program (ARP), a mind-body practice versus a control (C) on fatigue, quality of life and sleep in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Chronic Fatigue (CF) and Fibromyalgia (FM).

“CFS, CF and FM are incapacitating disorders characterized by profound fatigue, muscle pain, impaired memory, insomnia, and post-exertional malaise (Fukuda 1994).

“Current literature points to a centrally sensitized state in CFS, CF and FM (Meeus 2007). The Amygdala Retraining Program attempts to retrain this neuronal network through mind-body practices such as cognitive restructuring via neurolinguistic programming, yoga based breathing and simple mindfulness based meditation.

“A case series of 33 patients with CFS and Amygdala Retraining Program reported improvement in 92% of patients with two-thirds of patients reaching 80% to 100% of pre-illness levels of health (Gupta 2009). However, Amygdala Retraining Program has never been formally studied in CFS.

“We propose to gather preliminary data on the efficacy and feasibility of Amygdala Retraining Program versus control on fatigue, quality of life and sleep in 30 patients with CFS, CF and FM. All participants will undergo standard clinical treatment which consist of a 2 day self-management program in the Chronic Fatigue Clinic. Following this, participants will be randomized into the Amygdala Retraining Program or control group. The Amygdala Retraining Program group will receive an additional 2.5 hour training surrounding core concepts of the ARP program. They will then be given the Amygdala Retraining Program DVD program and booklet, to reinforce and continue the practice. They will then receive scheduled bi-monthly phone calls for 3 months from a study investigator for support.

“The control group will receive only standard care. However they will receive a complementary copy of the Amygdala Retraining Program program at the end of the study (6 month time point) as a gift for participation in the study.

“Preliminary data on efficacy will be assessed at baseline, 1, 3 and 6 months using the following validated questionnaires: Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MDFI), Short form-36 (SF36) Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Epworth Sleep Scale (ESS) and Measure Your Medical Outcome Profile (MYMOP-2).

“Feasibility will be assessed by evaluation of a daily practice log where patients record the total time spent daily in the practice of Amygdala Retraining Program and any specific difficulties they encountered in the practice of the program.”

To read more about the trial and for contact information, go to the listing (

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Article Comments Post a Comment

give me a break!
Posted by: throughhiker
Jan 12, 2010
So let me get this straight: resources are being wasted on this? "Amygdala Retraining" has in itself never been shown to exist as something distinct from simple self-soothing. CFS is now recognized as a profound biological disorder, with immunological and neurological aspects. CFS and Fibromyalgia are not known to be the same disease entity. CF (without the S) is simply a symptom, like "stomach ache." So these researchers are lumping these apples, oranges, and stomach aches into one group and expecting to learn anything at all? And then being so asinine as to hypothesize that mind-control will alleviate these conditions? Why are they focusing on CFS and FM? Why not do the identical research, but with AIDS patients, or diabetes patients, or ALS patients? Or all three lumped together? I can't wait until this garbage is behind us. I have trouble believing it isn't already behind us. Guys, why not be really avant-guard and study hysteria or spirit possession or how inadequate mothering produces schizophrenia? I am horrified that the Mayo Clinic is associating itself with this tripe.
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Mayo Clinic
Posted by: gapsych
Jan 12, 2010
I am very disappointed about Mayo Clinic testing this when there are so many other conditions, treatments that are worth studying.


Clinical trial
Posted by: DrDonnica
Jan 13, 2010
As I read this, another thought occurred to me re: CFS clinical research. My son--like many PWC--has a relapsing/remitting pattern of disability from CFS where he does well until the end of Oct/early Nov., crashes through the mid-spring, & then slowly builds up his strength. If he were in this study in April, it might show "success"; if he were in this study in Oct., it would show to be devastating. This issue of seasonal timing has to be taken into consideration in any CFS treatment trial.


Great to see brain/body research going mainstream!
Posted by: eljulia
Jan 29, 2010
I am still amazed to see the people who feel that FM or CFS does not deserve to be researched for treatment the same way cancer or ALS are. Having been diagnosed with FM about 4 1/2 years ago, what I tell naysayers is "the good thing about fibromylgia is you don't die from it. The bad thing? You don't die from it." It can be severely disabling in many ways. It has affected my ability to remember, to think clearly, my balance, my muscles and their ability to recover from use, I'm exhausted from hurting 24/7--it has all affected my ability to hold down a job or care for my family or even myself in the way I'd like to. The body works as an entirety--if one part of the brain has been rewired in a bad way for whatever reason, certainly if research shows there is a way to aid the brain in healing the body, it would have HUGE implications for pain control etc in all forms of disease!
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