ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help

|
|
|
|
 
Print Page
Email Article

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Memory Loss

  [ 221 votes ]   [ Post a Comment ]
www.ProHealth.com • August 30, 2002

previous article next article

August T'N'T: TIPS AND TECHNIQUES FOR TREATING CFS/ME

By Dr. Richard L. Bruno

Do Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) patients have progressive memory loss? When I am very fatigued or stressed I am unable to remember the word I was going to say. I'm frightened. Am I getting Alzheimer's disease along with CFS?

No, what you describe isn't Alzheimer's. You are experiencing word-finding difficulty which has nothing to do with memory loss or Alzheimer's disease. Like so many fatigue-related problems in people with CFS/ME, word-finding difficulty is also reported by polio survivors with "brain fatigue." In our 1990 International Survey 79% of polio survivors reported difficulty "thinking of words I want to say."

Thirty-seven percent reported frequent, moderate-to-severe word-finding difficulty. Polio survivors and CFS patients have difficulty naming objects and sometimes even getting out the names of people they know well! But word-finding difficulty is not associated with memory loss or thinking problems, symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. It is related to trouble focusing attention and a decrease in branactivation, the fundamental problem we think underlies "brain fatigue."

In one study we found that difficulty with word-finding and focusing
attention were related to polio survivors' brains making less dopamine.
Recent studies have found that CFS and fibromyalgia patients make less
dopamine, too. (Neurons that make dopamine are killed by a number of
encephalitis-causing viruses in addition to the polioviruses.) Why is too little Dopamine related to trouble "finding" words? Dopamine is not only the main brain activating neurochemical. Dopamine also connects the two "talking" parts of the brain: the part that thinks of the word you want to say and the part that "says" it. If you have too little dopamine you can think of a word but you can't get it out.

Knowing the word you want to say but not being able to say it is called the "tip-of-the-tongue" experience and is a common Parkinson's disease symptom. And that makes sense. Low dopamine is the cause of Parkinson's disease. We found that word-finding difficulty was as severe in polio survivors as it was in Parkinson's patients, even though polio survivors do not experience the tremor and rigidity of Parkinson's disease. However, there have been some CFS patients who, at least immediately after they became ill, did have some Parkinson's-like tremor and rigidity.

In 1996 we published a study showing that bromocriptine, a dopamine-replacing drug, reduced word-finding difficulty, attention problems and fatigue in polio survivors. However, medication is not necessary to treat word-finding difficulty. Reducing physical and emotional stress decreases fatigue, word-finding difficulty and all brain symptoms in polio survivors and CFS patients.

If you're having trouble thinking of a word that you want to say, take a rest break, a deep breath and try to "talk around" the word by describing the thing you're trying to name. If you are forgetting your friends and relatives names, just call everyone "Buddy" or "Honey."

Dr. Richard Bruno is Director of Fatigue Management Programs and The
Post-Polio Institute at Englewood (NJ) Hospital and Medical Center. His new book, THE POLIO PARADOX: UNCOVERING THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF POLIO TO UNDERSTAND TREAT "POST-POLIO SYNDROME" AND CHRONIC FATIGUE, is published by Warner Books. (AOL Keyword POLIO PARADOX.) E-mail questions to him at PolioParadox@aol.com.





previous article
  Rating 3.4 (221 votes) next article




DISCUSS THIS ARTICLE   (0 existing comments) Post a Comment 




[ Be the first to comment on this article ]




 
Free Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Newsletters
Subscribe to
Our FREE
Newsletter
Subscribe Now!
Receive up-to-date ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia treatment and research news
 Privacy Guaranteed  |  View Archives

Save on Your Next Order

Featured Products
FibroSleep™ by ProHealth FibroSleep™ by ProHealth
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid
Vitamin D3 5000 IU Vitamin D3 5000 IU
Give your body a boost with the sunshine vitamin
Natural Resveratrol Natural Resveratrol
Powerful Antioxidant Support + Positive Anti-aging Effects
OsteoTec™ UC-II® OsteoTec™ UC-II®
A True Breakthrough in Joint health
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength

Most Viewed Articles
What's the Hidden Cause Behind YOUR Fibromyalgia Flares? [more]

Pridgen Reports Fibromyalgia Antiviral Trial Results “Very Positive”: Predicts New Approach Will Be ... [more]

VIDEO: IACFS/ME Conference - Summary of Research by Dr. Komaroff [more]

How to Limit or Minimize Your Fibromyalgia Flare [more]

Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Post-Exertional Malaise and CFS/ME [more]

The Devil Is In The Details – A Herpes Simplex Virus Inquiry For Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Sy... [more]

Sympathetic Nervous System Dysfunction in FIbromyalgia and Overlapping Conditions [more]

Review of Nutritional Supplements Used for ME/CFS and FM [more]

FREE: Stop Feeding Yourself PAIN Guide [more]

Sympathetic nervous system dysfunction in fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel sy... [more]


FIBROMYALGIA RESOURCES
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia 101
Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Fibromyalgia Treatments
| CFS RESOURCES
What is CFS?
ME/CFS 101
ME/CFS Symptoms
ME/CFS Treatments
| FORUMS
Fibromyalgia
ME/CFS
ADVANCED MEDICAL LABS
WHOLESALE  |  AFFILIATES
GUARANTEE
CONTACT US
PRIVACY
RSS
SITE MAP
ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus
Credit Card Processing