Jacobs Journal of Anatomy and Physiology

Deviant Cellular and Physiological Responses to Exercise in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

*Frank N.M. Twisk
Department Of Cardiology, Institute Of Population Health, School Of Community Based Medicine, University Of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

*Corresponding Author:
Frank N.M. Twisk
Department Of Cardiology, Institute Of Population Health, School Of Community Based Medicine, University Of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Email:frank.twisk@hetnet.nl

Published on: 2016-10-21

Abstract

Post-exertional “malaise” is a hallmark symptom of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Various abnormalities, including abnormal physiological responses to exertion, can account for post-exertional “malaise” and “exercise avoidance”. Since these abnormalities are not observed in sedentary healthy controls, the abnormalities and deviant responses cannot be explained by “exercise avoidance” and subsequent deconditioning, nor by psychogenic factors.

Keywords

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Exercise Physiology, Energetics, Immune System, Oxidative And Nitrosative Stress

Introduction

Post-exertional “malaise”, a (prolonged) aggravation of symptoms after a minor exertion, is a discriminative symptom of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Several abnormalities observed in ME/CFS, such as a prolonged fall in oxygen uptake after exercise, and a post-exertional increase in metabolite-detecting (pain) receptors, can plausibly account for “exercise intolerance” reported by ME/CFS patients and the lack of the success of rehabilitation protocols. Since these abnormalities are not observed in sedentary controls, deconditioning (alone) cannot account for the physiological aberrations in ME/CFS after exertion. The exercise-induced abnormalities, which cannot be explained by psychogenic factors, appear strong correlates of ME/CFS.