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Rehabilitation of decreased motor performance in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Should we treat low effort capacity or reduced effort tolerance? - Source: Clinical Rehabilitation, December 2007

  [ 115 votes ]   [ 1 Comment ]
By Boudewijn Van Houdenhove, MD, et al. • • November 29, 2007

Aim: The aetiology, pathophysiology, diagnostic delineation and treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) remain a matter of debate. Here some aspects of the debate are elucidated, with a particular focus on the patients' decreased motor performance.

Hypothesis: The pathophysiological basis of decreased motor performance in CFS may, theoretically, involve three components:

1. A peripheral energetic deficit (impaired oxidative metabolism and/or physical deconditioning);

2. A central perceptual disturbance (higher effort sense or increased 'interoception'); and

3. A fundamental failure of the neurobiological stress system, leading to an abnormal 'sickness response'.

It is proposed that the first two components may lead to low effort capacity, while the third component may lead to reduced effort tolerance.

Although there is evidence for low effort capacity influencing symptoms and functional limitations in CFS, it is assumed that reduced effort tolerance might be the primary disturbance in CFS.

Diagnostic Implications: Distinguishing low effort capacity and reduced effort tolerance may contribute to a refinement of current diagnostic criteria of CFS and the identification of subgroups.

Therapeutic Implications: The above-mentioned distinction may make it possible to formulate a rationale for an effective implementation and adequate outcome evaluation of rehabilitation strategies in CFS.

Research implications: This new heuristic [problem-solving] framework may inform future research aimed at disentangling the complex determination of impaired motor performance in CFS, as well as studies aimed at customizing treatment to different subtypes of patients.

Source: Clinical Rehabilitation. 2007 Dec;21(12):1121-42. PMID: 18042608, by Van Houdenhove B, Verheyen L, Pardaens K, Luyten P, Van Wambeke P. Faculty of Medicine, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. [E-mail:]

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Exercise Fatigue
Posted by: ingreathealth
Jan 3, 2008
As someone who was athletic before the onset of CFS ultimately determined to be related to severe allergy to wheat, mercury toxicity and lyme, becoming debilitated was not related to lack of physical effort. After years of struggle and learning everything possible about the above issues, the single most important physical improvement was the result of increasing adrenal function, immune function, long term metal detox and increasing GLUTATHIONE LEVELS. Improvement in glutathione levels has changed my exercise activity ability very significantly. It took me 22 years to come to this conclusion. Mary (RN)
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