The Gupta programme or Gupta Amydala Retraining describes itself as a "brain training" or "brain re-wiring" technique designed to alter amygdala and insular activity in order to treat or cure chronic diseases including chronic fatigue syndrome. The Gupta programme is based on the amygdala hypothesis of chronic fatigue syndrome, which is unproven and has not been a significant focus of research. The Gupta Programme has previously claimed to treat fibromyalgia and electrical sensitivities as well as ME/CFS.
Evidence[edit | edit source]
Evidence is largely limited to patient self-reports. The British Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints about the Gupta Programme being falsely advertised as a treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, fibromyalgia and "electrical sensitivities" due to the lack of scientific evidence supporting this claim.
Reported harms[edit | edit source]
Some people have reported being harmed by brain training programmes, including Jen Brea, who has ME/CFS, mold-related illness and mast cell activation syndrome, and Ana Harris, who had mold-related illness.
Theory[edit | edit source]
Both Brea and Harris criticized the assumption that symptoms were caused by an overactivation/reactivity in the brain that was claimed to be unrelated to the underlying illness, an assumption which is presented as an uncontested fact by the Gupta Programme.
This belief of "symptoms without disease" and the assumption that flawed illness beliefs exist that should be challenged are core parts of the cognitive behavioral model of ME/CFS and an hypothesis underlying the use of graded exercise therapy and the psychosomatic approach to medically unexplained symptoms, treatments associated with significant rates of harm. This "not a disease" theory provides justification for the Gupta Programme teaching patients to ignore or minimize their symptoms―despite significant the evidence that ME/CFS has an underlying disease process, and the World Health Organization classes it as a neurological disease rather than a set of symptoms that may not indicate disease. Ignoring or minimizing symptoms is inconsistent with pacing, which involves monitoring symptoms and using them to help decide when best to stop an activity in order to avoid a "crash". which is widely
See also[edit | edit source]
Learn more[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Gupta, Ashok (2002). "Unconscious amygdalar fear conditioning in a subset ofchronic fatigue syndrome patients" (PDF). Medical Hypotheses. 59 (6): 727–735.
- Practice, Advertising Standards Authority | Committee of Advertising. "Harley Street Solutions Ltd". www.asa.org.uk. Retrieved Aug 29, 2020.
- @jenbrea (Feb 8, 2018). "I crashed really hard from doing Gupta" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Harris, Ana. "My Brain Retraining Story – Ana Harris Writes". Retrieved Sep 25, 2020.
- "ME/CFS Illness Management Survey Results - "No decisions about me without me" Part 1" (PDF). meassociation.org. ME Association. May 2015.
- Oxford Clinical Allied Technology and Trials Services Unit (OxCATTS) (Feb 27, 2019). "Evaluation of a survey exploring the experiences of adults and children with ME/CFS who have participated in CBT and GET interventional programmes. FINAL REPORT" (PDF). Oxford Brookes University.
- Action for ME (2014). "Time to deliver: initial findings of Action for ME's 2014 survey" (PDF). Retrieved Jul 1, 2016.
- Invest in ME Research (Jul 2, 2017). "Response to NICE 10 year surveillance (2017) – Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis". www.investinme.org. Retrieved Jul 2, 2019.
CBT/GET have been proven to be based on non-science for ME and should be removed from any recommendations in the guideline.
- World Health Organization. "ICD-10 Version:2016". icd.who.int. Retrieved Sep 25, 2020.
- Goudsmit, EM; Howes, S (2008). "Pacing: a strategy to improve energy management in chronic fatigue syndrome". Health Psychol Update. 17: 46–52.
Although a gradual increase in activity levels is permitted, the rule is that they should stop when the initial mild fatigue turns into a more unpleasant sensation, or where arms or legs begin to feel weak. Most patients will experience these symptoms fairly quickly after commencing an activity, but it is not unusual for some reactions to be delayed. Depending on where they are and what kind of activity triggered the symptoms, the patient may choose to respond either by resting, or if the fatigue is localised, by switching to an activity which uses a different muscle group.
chronic disease - a disease or condition that usually lasts for 3 months or longer and may get worse over time
myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.
somatic symptom disorder - A psychiatric term to describe an alleged condition whereby a person's thoughts somehow cause physical symptoms. The actual existence of such a condition is highly controversial, due to a lack of scientific evidence. It is related to other psychiatric terms, such as "psychosomatic", "neurasthenia", and "hysteria". Older terms include "somatization", "somatoform disorder", and "conversion disorder". Such terms refer to a scientifically-unsupported theory that claims that a wide range of physical symptoms can be created by the human mind, a theory which has been criticized as "mind over matter" parapsychology, a pseudoscience. Although "Somatic Symptom Disorder" is the term used by DSM-5, the term "Bodily Distress Disorder" has been proposed for ICD-11. (Learn more: www.psychologytoday.com)
graded exercise therapy (GET) - A gradual increase in exercise or activity, according to a pre-defined plan. Focuses on overcoming the patient's alleged unhelpful illness beliefs that exertion can exacerbate symptoms, rather than on reversing physical deconditioning. Considered controversial, and possibly harmful, in the treatment or management of ME. One of the treatment arms of the controversial PACE trial.