Brain imaging

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MRI and SPECT abnormalities have been found in CFS patients. SPECT abnormalities appeared to correlate with clinical status.[1][2]

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)[edit]

Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)[edit]


Electroencephalogram (EEG)[edit]

Quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG)[edit]


Positron emission tomography (PET)[edit]


  • 2016, Dr. Jose Montoya and Dr. Michael Zeineh's brain imaging studies show CFS patients suffer 3 brain abnormalities: an overall reduction in white matter; consistent abnormality in the right arcuate fasciculus; thickened gray matter at two areas of the brain connected by the right arcuate fasciculus.[3]
  • 2016, A qEEG/LORETA study of one CFS patient (per DePaul Symptom Inventory and Canadian Consensus Criteria definitions), found deregulation of the functional connectivity networks. This may explain the common symptom of perceived cognitive deficits such as slow thinking, difficulty in reading comprehension, reduced learning and memory abilities and an overall feeling of being in a “fog".[6]
  • 2014, A Japanese PET study looked at neuroinflammation in 9 patients with ME/CFS and 10 controls. They measured a protein expressed by activated microglia, and found that values in the cingulate cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus, midbrain, and pons were 45%–199% higher in ME/CFS patients than in healthy controls. The values in the amygdala, thalamus, and midbrain positively correlated with cognitive impairment score, the values in the cingulate cortex and thalamus positively correlated with pain score, and the value in the hippocampus positively correlated with depression score.[7][8]
  • 2014, The Stanford ME/CFS Initiative, directed by Dr. Jose Montoya and working with Dr. Michael Zeineh and colleagues, studied the brains of patients with CFS and healthy people and found distinct differences between the two groups. Radiology researchers have discovered that the brains of patients with CFS have diminished white matter and white matter abnormalities in the right hemisphere.[9][10][8]
  • 2012, Basant Puri,, found in a MRI study: "significant neuroanatomical changes occur in CFS, and are consistent with the complaint of impaired memory that is common in this illness; they also suggest that subtle abnormalities in visual processing, and discrepancies between intended actions and consequent movements, may occur in CFS."[11]

Learn more[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. Schwartz, RB; Garada, BM; Komaroff, AL; et al. (1994-04-01), "Detection of intracranial abnormalities in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: comparison of MR imaging and SPECT", American Journal of Roentgenology : AJR, 162 (4): 935–941, ISSN 0361-803X, doi:10.2214/ajr.162.4.8141020 
  2. Schwartz, RB; Komaroff, AL; Garada, BM; et al. (1994-04-01), "SPECT imaging of the brain: comparison of findings in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS dementia complex, and major unipolar depression", American Journal of Roentgenology : AJR, 162 (4): 943–951, ISSN 0361-803X, doi:10.2214/ajr.162.4.8141022 
  3. Chronic Fatigue Patients Suffer 3 Major Brain Abnormalities; Findings May Lead To Clearer Diagnosis. - Patient Health Care
  4. Shan, ZY; Kwiatek, R; Burnet, R; Del Fante, P; Staines, DR; Marshall-Gradisnik, SM; Barnden, LR (2016-04-28), "Progressive brain changes in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: A longitudinal MRI study", Journal of magnetic resonance imaging: JMRI, PMID 27123773, doi:10.1002/jmri.25283 
  5. Jaime S (2016-05-05), "Progressive Brain Changes in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Are our Brains Starved of Oxygen?", #MEAction 
  6. Zinn, Marcie L; Zinn, Mark A; Jason, Leonard A (2016), "qEEG / LORETA in Assessment of Neurocognitive Impairment in a Patient with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Case Report", Clinical Research: Open Access ( ISSN 2469-6714 ), 2 (1), ISSN 2469-6714, doi:10.16966/2469-6714.110 
  7. Nakatomi, Yasuhito; Mizuno, Kei; Ishii, Akira; et al. (2014-03-24), "Neuroinflammation in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: An ¹¹C-(R)-PK11195 PET Study", Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 2014 Jun;55(6): 945-50, PMID 24665088, doi:10.2967/jnumed.113.131045 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Tuller, David (2014-11-24), "Brains of People With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Offer Clues About Disorder", NY Times 
  9. Zeineh, Michael M; Kang, James; Atlas, Scott W; et al. (2014-10-29), "Right Arcuate Fasciculus Abnormality in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome", Radiology, 274 (2): 517–526, doi:10.1148/radiol.14141079 
  10. Goldman, Bruce (2014-10-28), "Study finds brain abnormalities in chronic fatigue patients", Stanford Medicine News Center 
  11. Puri, BK; Jakeman, PM; Agour, M; Gunatilake, KDR; Fernando, KAC; Gurusinghe, AI; Treasaden, IH; Waldman, AD; Gishen, P (2012), "Regional grey and white matter volumetric changes in myalgic encephalomyelitis (chronic fatigue syndrome): a voxel-based morphometry 3 T MRI study", British Journal of Radiology, 85 (1015): e270-3, doi:10.1259/bjr/93889091 

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From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history