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An Etiological Model for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Source: Neuroscience & Medicine, Mar 2011

  [ 14 votes ]   [ 1 Comment ]
By Leonard A Jason, et al. • • March 29, 2011

[Note: The full text pdf of this article outlining a way that ME/CFS symptoms might develop is available free at]

Kindling might represent a heuristic model [to be tested] for understanding the etiology of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

Kindling occurs when an organism is exposed repeatedly to an initially sub-threshold stimulus re-sulting in hypersensitivity and spontaneous seizure-like activity.

Among patients with ME/CFS:

• Chronically repeated low-intensity stimulation due to an infectious illness might cause kindling of the limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary axis.

• Kindling might also occur by high-intensity stimulation (e.g., brain trauma) of the limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary axis.

Once this system is charged or kindled, it can sustain a high level of arousal with little or no external stimulus and eventually this could lead to hypocortisolism [adrenal insufficiency].

Seizure activity may spread to adjacent structures of the limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary axis in the brain, which might be responsible for the varied symptoms that occur among patients with ME/CFS.

In addition, kindling may also be responsible for high levels of oxidative stress [free radicals], which has been found in patients with ME/CFS.

Neuroscience & Medicine, Apr 2011;2, 14-27. DOI:10.4236/nm.2011.21003, by Jason LA, Sorenson M, Porter N, Belkairous N. DePaul University, Center for Community Research, Chicago, Illinois, USA. [Email:]

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Posted by: tamsyn
Apr 28, 2011
This article perfectly agrees with the theory of ME proposed by Dr Ashok in the U.K. who offers amygdala retraining to help the mind and nervous system calm down and not be so over-reactive to past or present stressors. His training CD's seemed very helpful to me(I've had ME for over a decade and have tried many many things.)
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