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Fatigue in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): a cognitive phenomenon?

  [ 20 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • November 18, 1996

What is the source of the perception of excessive fatigue in the
chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)? Studies of physiological
response to aerobic activity, of muscle pathology and muscle
function in CFS, are reviewed, and suggest that the
subjective report of fatigue is not due to any peripheral
impairment. In addition, current technological methods such as
electroencephalography have failed to uncover the nature of
any abnormality in the central motor unit. A physiological
model which proposes that patients with CFS possess a reduced
threshold for sensory fatigue signals is rejected, because it
fails to account for recent findings. Instead, it is
suggested that the perception of fatigue in CFS is enhanced
by idiosyncrasies in cognitive processing. The implications
of this view to our understanding of the perpetuation of CFS
as a whole are explored.

Fry AM, Martin M

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